Saturday, October 1, 2016

An honest walk

His eyes welled with tears as he said last night, "babe, you haven't written a blog in a long time.  I think I need your words.  I think other people need your words.  Please write."

_

It's been almost 6 months.  I currently have 4 unpublished blogs that I've cowered to publish.

_

"Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I'm a mess and so are you
We've built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

Bring your brokenness, and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest" - Francesca Battistelli "If we're honest"

_

Man, have I been good at building walls.  It's easier, it's safe, and I'm not disappointed when I guard my own heart.  Truth is harder than a lie.  And my truth......I'm scared.  But, hiding has isolated me to what I need most.  Truth.  Love.  Acceptance.  Grace.  Oh, Grace.  How I need to allow myself some Grace.  Grace to be true to myself.  Grace to love what I love.  Grace to be who I truly am.  Because who I truly am is a child of God.  A human that is flawed, and has feelings.

_

Time is slipping away.  There are no more smiles.  No more laughs.  We're starting to see that simply eating oatmeal is becoming to much for her to handle.  This summer, we moved her bed downstairs into the Make a Wish room that was once a safe play room for her.  There's now a walk in shower in the remodeled once half bath just down the hall from her now bed room.  All things that we knew would happen, have happened.  I'm struggling to carry her.  Jake at times, too.  Simply sitting up on her own is an indication of a good day.  Her eyes won't always track my finger.  I've uttered the word "neurological decline" more than ever in the last couple weeks.  Friends' children are dying.  My facebook is flooded with declining childen and hurting hearts of parents who have had to say good-bye to their kid(s).  It's hard not to wonder every night, as we say goodnight, if this will be the last.  Every. Single. Night.


_

This is hard honesty.

_

I'm asked a lot how things are going.  Maybe specifically about Livia, maybe more about me.  I have a stock answer of "today is a good day."  Even if it's not.  Situations may not be appropriate to pour my heart out, or maybe I can gauge how I need to answer the question by who's asking it.  But, THANK YOU, to those that continue to ask over and over.  I have a few people that really dig deep with their questions.  They ask hard things.  I've never loved that, but man do I now.  Surface conversations about the weather aren't bad, but I don't want to live on the surface any more.  Every single moment matters.  Don't put off for tomorrow what could be done today.  It's not cliche'.  It's true.

_

I've been thinking a lot lately about Jesus and his walk to the cross.  He was walking with a slab of wood on his back, being beaten along the way.  Crowds of people cheering, throwing stones, maybe even spitting at Him.  There were a few walking along side him; crying, praying, pleading for Him to be saved.  Some people that loved him watched at a distance.  They loved Him, but they were afraid and just kept their distance.  Can you imagine this moment?  Can you imagine enduring that torture, ridicule, and pain?  I can only imagine kicking, screaming, and pleading for my life if it were me.  Jesus, though, He walked....just walked to the cross.  He didn't throw a tantrum or scream back at those screaming at Him.  He knew what had to be done.

_

I want to be like Jesus in my life.  Jake, Finley, our family & friends and I are facing a hardship.  We are witnessing Livia's decline.  I literally feel my heart breaking every day.  Honestly, more often than not, when I'm asked how I'm doing, my answer should be....not good.  I'm scared, I'm sad, and I'm anxious.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with saying that I'm scared.  I want to walk through my life like Jesus walked to the cross.  I don't want to kick and scream and throw a fit.  I want to do what needs to be done.  I want to honor Livia, and not be afraid to say that I'm scared.  I don't want to hide her.  She's beautiful, strong, and it's my duty to share her with anyone that's willing to have her.  I need to place Sanfilippo Syndrome at the foot of the cross.  Not putting it there, not tearing down these walls I've built around me, they are stealing the good moments.

_


I know Livia may die before me.  The thought of her not in my arms is unbearable.  But, I have her.  I've always had her, and man, am I lucky to be her mom.  Her name, Livia Grace, has been so fitting for so many reasons.  I LIV with intention because she has taught me what's really really important.  I want to LIV the rest of my life to honor her's.  Grace.....what a beautiful thing Grace is if we allow ourselves to receive it.
And the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will himself restore you and make you strong,
firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10

But he said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Grace to......allow my weakness to show when I'm scared.

Grace to......say out loud that I need help.

Grace to......fail and keep trying.

Grace to......say I'm sorry.

Grace to......fight an addiction

Grace to......walk away from an abusive relationship.

Grace to......fight for a marriage.

_

Placing whatever your......is at the foot of the cross will open the door to Grace.  It will indeed make you strong, firm, and steadfast.  I want to encourage you, that if you feel weak, beaten down by life or a circumstance, allow yourself to experience the emotions that go along with your situation.  That's grace.  However, keep in mind how Jesus walked to the cross.  Let that kind of character shine through in how you react, how you speak, and how you treat others.




Friday, April 15, 2016

What's important

I've neglected writing for a long time.  Not because I haven't wanted too, but it just hasn't felt right.  I've been taking a lot of pictures lately.  For myself, and for others.  It feels like it's mine.  I'm comfortable, I'm learning and growing, I'm sharing, and I feel inspired by the art of photography.  It's important to me......so important.
"What's important."  I've been hearing this whisper in my mind over and over and over again this winter.  Oh, this loooong winter.  I opened my Bible today to look up the word "important."  My Bible has a dictionary in the back.  I love it, and use it all the time.  It doesn't have as many words listed as Webster, but it has significant words.  It gives a brief definition, but then lists scripture that correlates.  "Important" was not listed.  I then thought, how about the word "priority."  Nope, not there.  I then went to responsibility.  Not quite, but responsible was listed.  Close enough.  I was then lead to look up Galatians.  I flipped to the front to look up what page GAL starts on.  1980....the year I was born.  I think I'm on the right track!   GAL 6; We Harvest What We Plant.  I highly recommend reading this.

A good friend once told me that there will never be enough art in this world.  There can never be enough good books to read, good music to listen too, stories to be told, or paintings to be hung.  She was right.  Hearing a good new song can ignite a new passion.  Reading a great story can refresh your soul.  That doesn't mean that your old favorites have to go by the way side.  Art is ever changing, expanding, and we all need it.  Just like ourselves.  Growing as people requires recognizing what is most important in our own life.  But, it's also recognizing others around us.  A well balanced "taking care" of what's most important.  

In GAL 6, it talks about not comparing ourselves to others.  Also, not boasting about our good works.  I've always believed the latter.  However, the comparing ourselves to others, that's a work in progress.  Stepping out into anything can be scary, create self doubt, and it's hard not to compare to other people's success.  It's also listening to those whispers.  The callings in your life.  I know how important it is to follow your dream.  To put purpose behind a passion.  We've all thought about our "death bed" moment and how we don't want to look back and regret not doing.....I get that.  I know what my heart yearns for.  It's also a "I want it now" feeling.  However, I know what's most important in my life right now.  It's taking care of what's most important.  It's being fully invested in her life.  It's not giving up when it's hard.  Physically and emotionally hard.  Even when it's over.  It won't be over and it will be a brand new listening for, investing in, taking care of, asking for help, and recognizing what's most important.  But right now, I know that resounding "what's important" is right where I'm at.  

    

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Time

                                            Anticipation

Anticipation, or being enthusiastic, is an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event. Robin Skynner considered anticipation as one of "the mature ways of dealing with real stress... You reduce the stress of some difficult challenge by anticipating what it will be like and preparing for how you are going to deal with it".


Nothing, not anything, can prepare a human being for loss.  I'm learning that I have no idea what lies ahead.  Just when I think I have things under control, I'm knocked back into grief.  This word "grief,"  it's literally all around me.  The more I look, the more I see of other's walking through some multifaceted form of grief.  I am not exempt from this list.  Even though I try so hard to push and deny my way away from grief.  The ugly, lonely, hard to breath, debilitating kind.  The kind where only isolation makes sense to me.  It's diving into mindless smut on television because it's a distraction from the real, anticipatory thoughts that enter my brain daily.  The daily thought of death.  It never leaves.  It surrounds my sweet, innocent, brown-eyed, sunshine haired, quiet, loving gift of a girl.

Death.

This past Tuesday, Livia fell.  I placed her on a kitchen chair that sits right next to my refrigerator.  She had just gotten home from school and still had her coat, AFO's, hat, and gloves on.  I placed her there to go get Finley's piano books and my coat.  My plan was to scoop her back up and go directly to our van where we would wait for Finley to be delivered by her bus.  Off to piano lessons we'd go.  However, as soon as I turned the corner, on a mission for piano books, I heard a crash followed by a screaming cry.  Liv had fallen face first onto my kitchen floor.  Blood, swollen lip, instant bruise, and a broken heart.  It was an accident, and I get that, but it threw me into the trenches of grief.  Liv took an entire 24 hours to recover.  I knew she was sore, but she was off.  Naturally, I felt horrible, but this time it hit me physically.  A tiredness and soreness that I've never experienced before.  It was grief showing me another "face."  I turned friends down for phone calls, denied food to be delivered, ignored calls and even my door bell.  Here's the thing.  I loathe talking about this because I know I haven't even reached the end of the plank where the plunge will be the deepest, darkest, dirtiest trenches of grief that will surely consume me.  It's what my friends are experiencing because their beloved's died at tender tender ages.  However, this is all a process, and it all takes time.

Time.


Livia's accident, as I was reminded by a wise fellow Sanfilippo mom, was a very visual reminder of how fragile she is.  Life is fragile for all of us, but I'm losing little pieces of my girl everyday.  Right in front of my eyes, things are changing.  Friend's children are dying.  Funerals are being attended.  Hard conversations are happening.  Grief is being felt; mentally and physically. 




Just like in the movie "Inside out," we learn that we can't have Joy without Sorrow.  It takes time for Joy to realize how important
Sorrow is in the balance of life.  How true this is in my journey.  Specifically with grief.  Nothing, not anything was going to bring me out of the physical grip grief had on me besides time.  I had to feel it, I had to let it happen.  I had no choice.  Coming out on the other side has let me reflect on all of this.  It has made me see that there will be many times in my life that this will happen,
and only time will heal whatever multifaceted balancing act the day brings.  This reflection and experience is a sort of re-boot.  Being crippled from grief makes me appreciate my strength and the blessing in taking care.  How consuming her, being in her presence is the wisest and most important life lesson I will ever receive.


My friends, thank you to those that listen and not try to fix.  Thank you to those who don't think twice about an unanswered phone call or text.  Thank you to those that offer and offer and offer; and after all the rejections still choose to show up.  Thank you for not comparing or rushing me through.  Thank you for praying and for loving.  Thank you to those who feed us; spiritually and nutritionally.  I cherish you and see how much you love us, especially my girls.  You are key players in this balance of life.  One more big one.....thank you for holding my hand! (wink) 
  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The art of life

To go with the flow means to survive, at times, in our world.  Coping with change has become as unnoticed as your child growing by inches.  It happens right before your eyes.  It takes putting them in last years pants, or measuring them against the wall, or a long distance friend coming around and bringing that change to your attention.

It's no secret that change happens all around each and every one of us.  Sometimes, change is welcome.  A new home, new shoes, a new baby.  Sometimes, change is just the opposite.  It can bring sadness, worry, confusion, or even chaos.  Change can even bring heartache.  A best friend moving away, a diagnosis, a relationship shift. 

I let Livia taste the lasagna I prepared last night.  Jake had "fed" her via her g tube.  Most nights she will sit with us at the table while we eat dinner.  Before she had her tube placed, I thought that it would be cruel to eat in front of her.  We have found that it really doesn't matter that we are eating in front of her.  She would rather be near us, able to hold our hands if she wants.  That is how we eat most nights; one hand holding a fork, the other holding her.  Last night, I felt like she was reaching for my plate.  Her eyes seemed to tell me that she just wanted a taste.  So, I let her taste.  She willingly opened her mouth as the fork approached.  Her lips don't surround the utensil like it used to, but she tasted, and my heart felt.  I couldn't help but be saddened by the fact that she doesn't get to eat like she used to.  On the flip, I couldn't help but feel overjoyed and nurturing that I was fulfilling a "want" of hers.  I gave her several little tastes, all the while feeling extreme gratitude over the plate of food in front of me, the family sitting around me, and the awareness of how change is growing me.

When Livia was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome, we received the side effect.  That side effect came in the form of grief.  It's apparently always been around.  Early on, I didn't know it's name.  I didn't understand it or acknowledge it.  Today, that grief, it hangs out with me daily.  On the worst days, it feels as if I'm sleepwalking through the day.  No concept of time, actually living out my worst nightmare.  This sleepwalking feeling, it's like grief has surrounded me like a weighted, tightly stitched quilt from which I can't come out from under.  It's a horrible, sinking feeling that I don't wish upon anyone.

 Glennon Doyle Melton had the most perfect post on her Instagram a few weeks back.  I haven't be able to stop thinking about it because it's so true.


It is my experience that with extreme grief and change, comes extreme joy and happiness through all of these life experiences.  It makes you and me human.  Greif has challenged me to rise above, love deeper, engage more often, adventure daringly, and to take care of the most precious.  Grief has exposed my vulnerabilities, but brought those who can meet me right in the midst of it without comparing or fixing; but with loving, praying, and listening.  That is a great great gift. 

From the deepest hurt of grief, to the most perfect love, and everything in between; pay attention.  For me, letting it all happen and LIVing through it makes the art of life and the promise of heaven beautiful and real.    





Thursday, October 22, 2015

Seasons of change

There is so much beauty in the changing of the seasons.  This season is undoubtedly popular.  There is such beauty in walking on crunchy leaves; all while witnessing Mother Nature's rapture through color.  On a sunny fall day, the breeze is majestic.  To feel the warmth of the sun, yet fill your lungs with crisp air; is energizing.  This season is comforting to me.  Like being home.  It's when I feel like settling in.  It's when I feel like slowing down to watch, to experience, smell, taste, and love.  It's when I find myself seeking joy; seeking with intention.  I savor this season. The brevity of it is like a "to be continued."  It's so disappointing, yet you can't help but be so excited because you know what's to come.

Autumn is defined as "a time of full maturity, especially the late stages of full maturity or,sometimes, the early stages of decline"

Livia is my Autumn child.

For a lot of us, being parents we don't always see the changes in our growing and maturing children.  It's common to hear something like, "Wow, Riayn, she sure has gotten taller." or "Matthew, his voice sounds different than the last time I saw him." or "Silas, he doesn't look like a little kid anymore."  It's because we are with our kids everyday and those changes literally happen right before our eyes.  It's hearing it from someone else that we are then able to recognize that yes, they are changing.

It's the same with Liv, but it's heartbreaking.  We hear "Liv looks so sad." or "It looks like Livia is having a really hard time walking." or "Liv seems very distant."

We've been in a season of change with her; and it's been the hardest one yet.  This season of change started with her silent aspiration of most everything and has overtaken her smiles, her laugh, her mobility, and other neurologic issues that we see on the horizon. 

We've gone from a once verbal, running, and playing child to one that is just going through the motions of survival.

I can't help but compare her life to Autumn.  Just like Mother Nature's rapture in color; is her existence.  The beauty that has come from this child is indescribable unless you slow down to experience it.  Unless you open your eyes, intentionally seek joy, and breath in what energizes you; the brevity of life will get the best of you.  The sadness that accompanies these changes is present daily.  I must choose to bridge the gap between grief and joy.  It's when I close my eyes and I remember her voice, I remember the way she loved to eat pizza and ask for more, the memory of her running, playing, hugging, and being a kid; that's the crisp cool breeze that fills my lungs.  It's what energizes me and conditions my heart.  It's knowing that there is a "to be continued."



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Living room life

My dear friends, I pray you never stop asking............

Early on in Livia's diagnosis, Jake and I decided that we would try our best not to let (what the textbooks said) Livia's limitations would be, hold us back from what we wanted to do as a family.  We were and are determined to keep life as normal as possible; for our girls, as well as us.  We decided that we want our kids to experience as much as we can provide.  Doesn't every parent?  Especially for Livia, who can't decide for herself; we want to show her as much of the world as possible.  We want her to experience; just as it is our desire to LIV a purposeful and meaningful life.  Just like the song (which is my anthem) "I lived" by OneRepublic says "I owned every second that this world could give.  I saw so many places, the things that I did.  With every broken bone, I swear I lived."

This summer has been full of "firsts."  At the end of the school year, Livia had a swallow study done.  I was sure that we would get some results back that showed some small changes.  That day, I was not prepared for a complete change for our girl.  Like I said, I was prepared to maybe start thickening her water, but instead, as I watched during the procedure, my girl silently aspirate on everything except pudding like texture.  It was a literal punch in the gut after a 30 minute procedure and being sent away with a piece of paper and a kleenex.  I can remember wanting to ask the nice ladies in the room with Liv and I so many questions, but I could only get out 2 questions.  I was biting my cheek so hard to help keep from letting the tears fall.  Thankfully, we saw this change coming a year ago and had her gtube placed.  Today, Livia is getting 100% of her hydration as well as 50-60% of her nutrition through that little tube in her tummy.  It's been an easy transition, but not a welcome one.  We feed her thick pureed food as often as possible to keep her brain firing.  We want those neurons to synapse with other muscles in her body to make her swallow.  This is real.

Another first, our home feels and looks like medical supply grand central.

 
       
  


In a matter of a week, Livia received a wheelchair, feeding/activity chair, and a bath chair.  All of which I'm thankful for because it helps her to be more comfortable and safe.  She needs it all.  However, before having all of this stuff in our home, I think I pushed her disability to the side.  I never viewed Livia as disabled.  This equipment; the tubes, the wheels, the supports, the food in a bag, the mesh, and the syringes; it's a visual reminder of how medically fragile she is.  It's the first time in her life that I've felt weighed down with the sight of "stuff."  Everyday, with every corner I turn in my house; I see something and it reminds me.

This summer has felt like a summer of "no's."  It's the first summer that we've been divided a lot.  I'll stay back with Liv, and Jake will take Finley somewhere, or vise versa.  Or, we'll go somewhere and someone has to come back early with Livia.  We have to keep her on a strict medication routine.  Especially at night, those meds, they make her sleepy.  Now, if only they could help her stay asleep!  There have been a lot of opportunities to do fun things.  We have taken advantage of some fun, but it's the first time that I've felt some jealousy with the things we can't do.  Jealousy is a mean and singular emotion that is just ugly.  This jealousy created a pity party........party of one.  I have never in my life looked at our situation and wished things were different.  Expcept for the obvious, in which my daughter doesn't have a terminal diagnosis.  But, I've been jealous of some things my friends got to do, that we just couldn't.  This summer has felt like we've been living a living room life.  Liv is not walking well.  She's most comfortable on the couch.  She tires out and lays down, and most often can not lift herself back up.  We physically make her stand.  She'll hold on to the legs of our TV and stand.  Her legs will start to shake, start to turn blue, and when she's had enough, she will cry out.  She'll make her way back to the couch.  This has been the hardest transition of all to watch.

Liv will still get a burst of energy, or have a good walking day.  She still does walk, but we must be with her.  This "living room life," it's felt isolated and sad.  It's caused me to feel guilty, jealous, and tired.  But, it's also where I know I must be.

I've learned a long time ago to let go of my expectations.  My plans, my dreams; it's not about me.  It's not about getting or doing what I want.  It's about succumbing to a bigger picture and a bigger plan.  It's about realizing that this living room life is right where I need to be at this point in my life.  And honestly, I'm happiest on that red couch where I can hold and smell her in.  This living room life, it's where life happens.  It's where good friends gather to laugh, to cry, to pray, to tell really great stories, and to do life with us when we can't always go out to do life with them.  It's where my purpose lies.  Livia needs us the most.  It's a balance that I wish I didn't have to take on, especially for Finley.
 But, I know that someday she will understand.  This, unfortunately small phase in our life, is what is helping to mold her and the rest of us into compassionate and loving people.  One day, when the living room life is a distant memory; and oh how my heart aches for that to be years....many years down the road.  This living room life will be the foundation of our future.  It will spark us to do, to LIV, to be with those that we love the most.  Those jealous feelings, I'm sure they will show up here and there, and my dear friends.......I pray you never stop asking.  I hope you understand.  This living room life, it's a unique and heartbreaking experience.  It's where I've learned that not getting what I want; it's where I see God's greatest blessings.





Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dig Deep

I find myself using a phrase quite often during my body pump classes.  I will warn my class of a difficult set or encourage them during the end of a particularly hard track.  I will say something along the lines of "let's finish this chest track together, dig deep, and finish strong!" Or maybe something like "DIG DEEP! Last combo!"  It's a phrase that I coach with, a lot.  I find it's fitting.  Sometimes lifting heavy or running farther requires a little digging.  That digging deeper is when changes happen, goals can be met, and a sense of accomplishment is gained.  It's not easy to "dig deep," but actually digging deeper is when the payoff occurs.  It's taking a step outside your comfort zone and doing something uncomfortable or something you thought unreachable when the impossible becomes possible.
 
I must dig deep, everyday.
 
Last week, I started to prepare for a weekend of company.  Like any good hostess would, I thought I should actually strip all the beds and put fresh clean sheets on for my guests.  I'm going to get a little real here and tell you that I don't wash sheets every week.  I do it on purpose. Especially Livia's.  You probably notice that when you walk into someone else's bedroom you can smell them.  Both of my girls have a bedroom smell.  They are different, and I love them both.  After I sent both the girls off to school, I started the task of stripping all the beds.  I started in Liv's room and it hit me.  Her empty bed, a quiet house, her smell, and the thought of her not being here came over me out of no where.  I draped myself over her bed with tears flowing from my face.  I pulled her sheets off her bed, fell to the floor, and buried my face deep.  I tried to INHALE as hard as I could.  I moved her sheets through my hands trying to find places that she must have settled into.  I panicked.  I felt anxious.  It was an absolutely devastating moment to realize that there will be a last time that I will have to remove her sheets and her smell........how can I let go of her smell.  How can I let go of her?
 
I will have to dig deep.
 
It doesn't happen as often as it once did, or maybe I'm just very used to hearing "I don't know how you do it."  When I sit back and really, REALLY, think about what we are facing, I understand why people ask me this.  When I see another child struggle, or hear of another family burying their child, or watching families that have lost a child(ren) and navigate life without them; there are times when I wonder how they do it.  How do they dig deep and keep going?  I've learned that I can't really ask how other's do it.  I have to rely on what has worked for me and given me a lot of peace in the process.  I've had to dig deep in my faith.  Everyday.....I must dig deep.
 
I am not proclaiming that I have all of this figured out.  I literally LIV day to day.  Each day presents different emotions which can cause easier or harder days.  Days in which I have to dig deep to come out on top.  What I will proclaim is that because of the work I've put into my faith, and my relationship with God, I've gained peace that really does surpass all understanding.  I love a lot, I'm very patient, and relationships mean a lot to me.  I can't understand or explain it all myself.  What I do know is that this digging deeper during the hard, scary, and almost impossible moments is what is allowing our life to be LIVed in an extremely full and beautiful way.
 
I'm extremely thankful that my "dig deep" moments are due to my emotions, my navigation through the hard.  What is not hard is actually taking care of my girl.  Liv's needs are 100% dependent on Jake and I.  Everything.  Walking is now a great struggle for her.  She's falling a lot and it's hard to look at her bruised knees and elbows and not HATE this horribly ugly MPS.  She has less and less smiles, and she's content sitting or laying on the couch now a days.  She can't move herself out of an uncomfortable sleeping position.  She can only cry out.  Digression is a bitch, and it's literally taking her more and more.  That is what takes digging deeper.  She's facing a swallow study and those results could mean another change in her care.  At this point, I just want to get the results and do what we need to do in order to keep her safe and nourished.  I can understand that care taking can take a toll and be stressful at times, but to me, it's not a burden.  We have a responsibility to take care of the one's we love.  Life is extremely precious and fragile and by allowing stress or negativity to over come care taking is robbing people of the opportunity to dig deep and learn from that experience.  I pray that if you are reading this and you have a child with great needs, little needs, are caretaking for someone, or you are going through something tough your self, that you can dig deep within your heart and cherish the time you have with the one's you love the most.  Health especially can change in the blink of an eye.  Life can change in the blink of an eye.  I pray that you can find peace in order to INHALE what this one precious life has to offer.