One Year Ago

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

Author unknown

On May 27th, 2022 – life changed forever when my “baby” brother passed away. It’s hard to wrap my brain around this loss, even now. I miss him in a way that has changed me.

I made this for his memorial. In ten months I’ve planned two memorials, made two funeral programs, and made decisions I don’t ever want to make again. As I drive back to NC this weekend, I know Matthew will be on my heart constantly as he is and has been, the last couple of weeks.

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”

Jamie Anderson

Life is Either a Daring Adventure, or…

life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all, helen keller quote, elaina avalos

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

– Helen Keller

I start a new job in Virginia, tomorrow. As of this moment, I still don’t have a place to live. I can’t keep paying for a hotel and moving expenses, so I have to have a place to live by Friday, or things get a little sticky. The primary challenge in making a move like this is that I was in California (when my dad was in the hospital, passed away, and then again for the funeral) for 18 of the days I could have been working on tying up loose ends at my old job and finding a place to live. It all feels a little impossible at the moment.

There have been numerous times during this process that I’ve felt super uncomfortable with this situation – uncertain how it will all come together. But uncertainty and a lack of obstacles mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. A lack of obstacles in your path do not indicate that you’re on the right path. There are times when that is the case. But it isn’t always. I can say with certainty that in those times when there are challenges that seem insurmountable, getting past them is the best feeling. It may not exactly make the rocky path worth it, but it does make the victory feel a little sweeter.

The best views come after the hardest climb.

– Unknown

While I don’t know how it will all come together, I’m trusting that I’ve gotten this far for a reason. I am looking forward to seeing how God will work all this out and how He will give me strength for each moment. If you’re in a similar weird time where you can’t imagine how things will work out, hang in there and keep pressing forward.

You Deserve a Love That Stays

That I do. We all do.

I opened Pinterest the other day and the image below was the first thing I saw in my feed.

It’s this. It looks like this. At the end of my life, when there are less years ahead than those that have past, I want to be with my best friend enjoying the simple things in life – with a family full of love and craziness. It’s not too much to ask or hope for. Nor is it a silly dream to pray for or long for.

Sometimes it appears as if society values other things more than love, family, and a simple (but happy) existence. In America, we (not me) value material things, positions, titles, and things more than anything it seems. I don’t have a desire to attain positions or titles or status. Things won’t follow me into the next life. But I do have a desire to come to the end of my life with a faithful love and family beside and all around me. This is all that matters to me.

Just Come Over and Lie Here With Me

I feel like I’m a terrible Swiftie right now😂 for being in a John Mayer mood, but whatever. It is what it is. Today, only this guy will do. This song is on repeat.

“Don’t say a word
Just come over and lie here with me
Cause I’m just about to set fire to everything I see”

I’m running on caffeine and adrenaline right now. I’ve worked through the weekend and tomorrow is my last 12 hours at my job. I say 12 hours because we have an “event” tomorrow evening. It will be a long day. It is bittersweet to leave. The past 13 years on the job have been such a privilege. I look forward to what comes next. I look forward to living in Virginia again. But leaving something you love is always hard, too. Somehow, John Mayer worked today to keep me on track. 🙂