a look back at where I've been..... & what's ahead.

Why, hello there....

August.

there has been so much on my mind lately... so much that I've been working through, working towards, working to become.... that I felt like I needed to take a step back & reflect.

reflect on the wins.

& the losses. <3

& where they all can take us....

for starters, August started out with a vacation with just my husband & I. we had a lot of plans. we had a lot we wanted to do, people to see, places to go... we needed to relax & unwind... but, the truth is...

August will never be the same.

I would be completely lying to you if I said that when the calendar turned to August, I didn't feel a complete pit in my stomach. because, for me & August.. the story goes back 2 years.

August 16th, 2013.. is the day our Emily became our angel. but, let's rewind even farther... because this is the part I push very far back in my mind... the part that I don't want to think about...

June 29, 2013- I married the love of my life. it was the most special & amazing day, as almost every bride says. I had my friends and family there. I felt all of the love in the world. Em had a great day overall- we drank champagne. after we said I do, in the limo, on our way to the reception... Dave put an offer in our house we live in now... (ridiculous?!?! one might think so...) the day we stepped out onto our balcony on our honeymoon, our offer was accepted. AND we sold our house we lived in then... life was absolutely perfect.

We returned home & we started the "moving" process- packing, inspections, paperwork.... this was also the summer my sister graduated from high school & her party was quickly approaching- August 11th to be exact. Em & I discussed paint colors for our new house.... gray & yellows we decided.

on August 15th... we had our house painted. the living room gray. the kitchen yellow.

.. August 16th, 2013... Dave & I moved into our new home.

I will never forget that morning.

It was a Friday morning & my dad, my brother, my brother-in-law, family friends... all came to help Dave & I move into our new home. My dad got a phone call & I peeked out the door.... I knew what he was talking about. I felt really small... really much like a child hearing something I shouldn't... but, he saw me. & he just nodded... & I knew.

from that moment on.... August was never the same. & when it's coming... it always seems to come really quickly. & it's like my whole family is just holding our breath...

last year, we all went to the beach for my cousin Ashley's wedding. we cherished our memories for the entire week... this is time I will always remember & hold close to my heart.

this year, on Friday, August 14th.... at 9am... pretty much the exact "time"... my baby brother officially became a United States Marine. I have NEVER been more proud in my entire life. It was pretty much a surreal feeling... & Em was there. we all saw her.

We spent the 16th all together... remembering our Em how we always do... in her garden... & by lighting lanterns & sending them to the heavens....& she was there. we all saw her.

On August 18th... my dear friend, Katy, had her 1 year remission date. her cancerversary. a date that is one of the most SPECIAL her, her family, her friends, her team... & Em was there. we all saw her.

I cannot believe that it is just a coincidence that HUGE life events & milestones happen at the EXACT SAME TIME as the one event that completely pulled the rug out from under me...

the point of all of this is that....

never will it get easier. it will never go away. the farther life takes me away from that date, the more I want to rewind & go back because I have a pretty intense fear that the memories will become less important for others... & I will never be ready to stop talking about her, sharing her life, sharing her story.

but... I have to remember.... that MY story... is her story.

how I continue to live is a direct reflection of living my life in honor of her.

the experiences I continue to have... I am grateful for even more. because they are mine.. & I get to have them.

every single day.... I have to ask myself... would she be proud with the way I am handling this situation? Would Emily thing I was being selfish with my life, my talents, & my time?

I read something recently that said... grief comes in waves. & always 100 foot waves... they never get smaller... & they knock you COMPLETELY over... wipe you out.... & you sometimes can see them coming... & sometimes, they sneak up on you.

I saw August coming... & I was bracing myself against it.

It's time to let the waves just carry me to new places.

August.... I'll never be ready for you.

but, I'll try to embrace you.... for the rest of my life.

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