A Time Of Refreshing

June 18, 2019 at 10:07 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This week is a time for me to refresh, to unplug from all the cell phone, answering e-mails, computer, and all the other devices that we all need a break from.  I care for my aging mother in the morning, then I will be off for some much-needed fun.

I  have always been a homebody. I love living here and seeing wildlife. You are driving around a neighborhood, and see several deer eating on the front lawn, stopping for wild turkeys to cross the road, following the stream around a mountain back road. I like taking the less traveled forks in the road because you are pleasantly surprised when you see a quaint town with small shops to explore. Last year friends of mine and I traveled to the top of the mountain and looked over part of Coeur d’Alene Lake. The drive back was beautiful.

My mom and I are still expecting relatives to visit this summer. My next door neighbor agreed to come to help me clear the basement of items to donate and then make the space functional. Aside from this, catching up on reading some good books in the park, taking some afternoon drives around the lakes in the area, binge-watching my favorite shows, getting out and hiking Tubbs Hill, meeting friends for lunch at our favorite upscale restaurant. I may even go on a silver mine tour, and go to a ghost town in the area.

I can say that I have enjoyed the life I have lived in my home town. I have watched the town grow more and more every year but we still maintain our small town friendliness. I have my favorite places I shop,  have the oil changed, get my groceries, and get my hair cut. One thing remains the same: The grocery store clerk to my bank teller has the same friendly smile and warm greeting when you walk in. I choose to pay my bills in person instead of online for the reason of I have known the tellers and clerks for the last thirty years and enjoy the interaction with them. This is what makes a town feel like home. I could plan a trip and travel anywhere I wanted this week but where would I be any more satisfied than where I love living? I told this to a friend today in the grocery store. She wondered why I was not on an airplane heading for another destination. Folks come here to enjoy our beauty on a vacation. I think I just may be on to something.

Summer will be short-lived and fall will be here before you know it. The changing leaves on the trees to gold, red and orange, fall drives, sipping cider, planting fall flowers to replace the summer blooms. The coats, boots, sweaters, jeans, scarves, and gloves will replace the shorts and tees, sandals, ice tea, and warm summer days. It seems like summer is shorter every year. The Inland Northwest get the fires that surround us and it makes for dry, hot and smokey conditions for much of the season. Lasy ear, it was advised to stay indoors because of the poor air quality. It is scary when a fire breaks out fifteen minutes from your home. You pray for the families that are in harm’s way and hope that the fire does not spread any further. You take the good with the bad I guess.

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A New Season

April 18, 2019 at 7:29 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Last night, I attended a ladies bible study by myself. A good friend invited me to go several times, so I finally went with her. I had the most fun I have had in a while. The ladies were gracious hosts making you feel at home. Last week, I heard one mother saying her son was in a play next week. I asked if I could come, we also invited another widow who attends the study to come along also. I love that they made you feel apart of the family and I look forward to next week.

We had an unusual winter as it began snowing in February every day. We are used to getting our winter beginning in December and in February we have some signs of spring. I love the white fluffy snowfall but then you get rain with it and a mixture of heavy slush makes it impossible to shovel let alone drive in unplowed roads. This was the first year that I stayed in most of the winter due to increased traffic and other people driving reckless. I love to look out my front door at the storms coming in from the mountains.

this year, I started to notice a slight change in my outlook on things. I was more tired than usual, my mom had needed more help after coming home from the hospital, I was caring for two households now. I realized I was becoming more depressed and just wanted to be alone. I have a great group of friends who I go out with, but my mood had changed.  I haven ‘t taken a nap in so long, I found myself taking a three-hour nap every day. My co-workers were noticing I seemed more tired and wondered what was wrong. I love my job and the house I work in and get along well with everyone. I was beginning a new season in my life.

I was having my morning coffee one day and realized I felt like I was looking at a glass house, I was on the outside looking inside the house. I felt like I did not fit in I think when you suffer a personal loss such as losing a spouse or son, you feel disconnected from the community. The ladies at the bible study helped me to understand I was not alone in my feelings. Healing takes time, you have to take good care of yourself to continue to give to others. I think the thought of not fitting in is like looking at your glass half empty or half full. When life throws a curve ball how do we deal with the pain and anger? I had to realize the deaths of both my husband and my son did not mean the death of me as well. I am looking forward to the next season of my life. I know it will be full of promise, brighter days, and most of all getting back to the lasting friendships I have made.

Happy Easter everyone. May you hug the kids tighter, let them know you love them, you are proud of them and you are glad they are in your life. We are not promised tomorrow so make the best memories of today.

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Is Spring On its Way????

March 14, 2019 at 9:29 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Our weatherman said Tuesday was our last day of snow this year. We will see. We all know about the ground-hog land his lie. Social Media has had a field day with the ground-hog this year. Anything from a guest appearance of The Maury Show to a wolf eating him for his lies.

I am one who usually would rather winter take its time ending and spring begin. I love the cold crisp days, watching the snow fall,while sipping my morning cup of coffee, dressing in layers, the chili cook offs, watching families pull the kids on sleds down the street to race down the hill or ice skate. Cold snowy days are a nice way to cuddle up with a good book with a fire burning. It is a great day to have the grand kids over for sleep overs and making cookies and choosing a good movie to be enjoyed by all, Families take the dog and kids for walks in the evening, not to mention the many tireless hours spent shoveling snow. Communities are starting to help out the elderly and disabled by shoveling the driveways for them.

I remember my first winter here in my home town. All the neighbors gathered at my parents house and the teens were pulled around the neighborhood by my dads 1946 Willies Jeep. Dad had fun trying to turn fast around corners so we would whip around missing a parked car by mere inches. We we could not feel our fingers or toes, mom had hot cocoa and home-made chocolate chip cookies waiting for us. My parents knew how to throw a good party or a casual get together. Our old house was isolated and my brother and I had only a few friends who came over to our ranch. it was nice to live with live neighbors around again.

When you talk to folks living here, you get a variety of answers on which season they prefer. Not many dream of a white five months. they would rather we skip the white fluffy stuff and let them get back to planting their flower gardens. I have seen some pretty beautiful gardens and I know how much time it takes to keep them looking show perfect. I have a friend who spends countless hours a week just cutting, pruning, replanting flowers, to have the moose enjoy the fruits of her labor. I admit, I wish I had to green thumb she has, but she is also committed to maintain the beds and keep her yard beautiful. I love to visit the Annual Garden Show in our area. I know many have to be retired to put this much time and planning into the landscape.

I love living in a four season climate unlike living where it is hot, hotter and stay inside today hot. I never was one who liked dry, hot climates where tumble weeds are part of the landscape. I enjoy a few hot summer days, but then like it when the evenings cool off so you can water. I have lived in my home town for over thirty years now and I think it is the ideal place to look forward to retiring to in a few short years. I live in a small three bedroom rancher that I hear are a hot commodity now. Everyone is looking to down size as they grow older and do not want all the yard work to contend with anymore. When you live where there are plenty of lakes to fish in, hiking trails, huckleberry picking, out-door concerts, farmers markets to enjoy where else would you want to go?

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Time Flies

February 28, 2019 at 8:28 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 My Pastor is always joking that time flies when you are unconscious. Maybe he is right, we are ending another month and starting a new one tomorrow. I cannot believe how fast the years are speeding past. With this new year, came a surprise to many. February is usually 40 degrees outside and we are getting ready for Spring. Mother Nature had other plans for most of the Country this year. Those who do not get snow, it snowed maybe for three minutes as my cousin pointed out, but snow nonetheless. I felt sorry for her but she did not have her town closed down because it was dangerous to drive with regular tires, and no snow shovels.

I have lived in my home town for the last thirty-eight years. I have enjoyed living in a four season climate most of the time. It is hard to believe that I have lived here for so long. My family didn’t move around  like so many families do. I can count on one hand the homes I have lived in. When my husband and I married, we bought our first home together not knowing it would be our last. I live by a beautiful bay with hiking trails and the river out my back door. We see deer, quail, ducks and hear the birds chirping, plus we are in the forest. You cannot beat that.

I lived on the ranch in California for most of my childhood. Yes, my twin brother and I had our own bedrooms, shared a bathroom, had our own black/white TV sets in our bedrooms at the age of 12. Mom did not know what else to get us that year, we had enough clothes. I have to admit, I would not have traded this time of my life for anything, but a time comes when you need a change. dad became ill and needed a drier climate to live in. My Aunt and Uncle were already here, so we moved to be close. What a new adventure it was. I have never seen the forest facing your front yard. You can see the storms coming in. I love the outdoor atmosphere of boating, canoeing, paddle boarding, and hiking and biking my home town has to offer.

 Some ask me what I think my future holds. Retiring and keep writing this blog and maybe another book or two, I have no plans to move out of my family home. My husband and I bought our place on our second anniversary. We were pregnant with our son Levi. The neighborhood was a young families that we became fast friends with. It was fun seeing all the kids growing up together and then we watched them all leave and start their own lives. It is amazing how fast time flies if you are not careful. Most of my friends have four grand kids they see often. My son Levi died in a tragic car accident in 2007 at the age of twenty. I keep a positive attitude about life and what it holds for me. I have the love and support of my family and friends and a strong faith.

I would not trade my life for anything. The hardships and difficulties taught me perseverance, the glass in my life is defiantly half full and I look forward to my future. Like the passing seasons, our lives are ever-changing, career choices, retirement, family moving in, sandwich generation, it can be tough sometimes, but I know at the end of the day no matter how hard it seems, I have a nice cup of coffee waiting on the side table for me to enjoy and reflect on my day. Let time fly, but do take time to hug your kids extra tight today, tell them how much you love them, how proud you are of them and you are glad they are in your lives. We are not promised tomorrow. I know this for a fact; But life is good and it is what you make of it everyday. Live life to the fullest.

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It’s That Time Again

May 17, 2018 at 8:50 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

It’s that time once again. Time to get our yards in shape for entertaining family and friends. I hear lawn maintenance is over one billion dollar industry. I know friends who have the Better Home And Garden Homes who will replace the flowers four times a season.  They spend nine hours per week weeding, mowing, pruning, dead heading plants, fertilizing, and watering.  I understand to have the gorgeous yards take a lot of work.

I am happy to say my gardening skills are getting better with my middle age. I, of course, have a gardener to advise me  some easy ideas to have the look of a beautiful back yard retreat. I decided to fill in holes left when three trees were taken down in January. Instead re-planting shrubs, I decided to fill in the holes with good dirt and expand my hop scotch patio by fifty feet. I need more entertaining space and add a fountain,and last, a pergola. Every year, I plan for a couple small projects to update my yard and create the space I want to have friends come and barbecue.

I watch the Home Improvement shows especially the ones that showcase a small yard. There is so much a homeowner can do on a budget. Adding a fire pit brings loved ones roasting marshmallows over an open fire. A good friend added an outdoor day bed to her backyard retreat. You can either lounge in front of the pool, watch the kids play volleyball in the pool. They say your home is your biggest investment., I agree; You don’t have to upgrade your current home, just make some simple improvements your family can enjoy for years to come especially if you love the neighborhood in live in. 

Every year, I look forward to the Annual garden Tour. It is a good way to get good ideas for your own retreat. Some retired gentlemen have created a secret garden for their wives to enjoy. I can imagine how nice it is on a summer morning, birds merrily chirping, squirrels running across the telephone wires, watching butterflies fluttering around picking a favorite flower to enjoy. I know deer come in and walk around the yards. What a treat to see them roaming around in the backyard. I would just like to appreciate the hard work and dedication the Garden Club puts into a hobby many after they retired. 

The older I get, I am trying to enjoy every season in my life. Getting together with dear friends, putting in roses to complete my Victorian Garden(in a front flower bed). I still like simple elegance. Succulents are a good way for me to have a nice flower bed without killing the plants. I am learning about rocky soil and adding rich nutrient dirt, and hen I don’t have to pray for the best. I think my late husband would be proud of me for keeping our forever home nice. I have always taken pride to keep the house clean, watering the yard, planting a few flowers so it looks like someone lives here. I have dear friends who painted my home and made the house look fresh again. I am starting to enjoy this middle age life of mine. 

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A Fresh Outlook

October 18, 2017 at 6:04 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

 

I have been going through a funk period. You are unhappy about something,but can’t quite put your finger on it. I am there. Some days, I feel like I am walking through a thick fog. Some friends will tell me it is because of the change in weather. The warm sunny days have been replaced with shorter, cooler evenings. I know I enjoy fall. I love the changing leaves,the cool mornings, the first cup of coffee tastes better, fall creamers,layers.

As I was sitting in my living room this morning, a thought came to mind. Sometimes I have to realize I need a change in my daily routine. I need to dead head my hydrangea, trim back my Lavender bushes, trees,and the final mowing of the season. Yes, it will be a routine change. I still need to clean and organize mt closet from summer to fall. Two of my best girlfriends both have full-time jobs, so we do not see each other as often. it is so easy to let our minds get side tract from what is important in our day. We still have the fall clean-up getting ready for winter, clothes need to be changed out so we do not freeze in 20 degree mornings, lunch dates are also important to stay connected with those we value. My thoughts this morning went deeper.

I have kept a morning journal for over thirty years now. I write down my thoughts, dreams that may or may not have come true, concerns I have in my life, my aging mom, finances, my job. As I get older, I see a different perspective than I did while raising my young son as a single mother. My priorities have changed; One income does not go as far as it used to. Home ownership is expensive when replacing a furnace or a roof. Property taxes and car insurance are due the same month. Life can be over whelming sometimes, and we cannot just go to an exotic destination to escape. Instead of focusing on negatives thoughts in my life, I have decided to focus instead of some positives.

I am grateful for the continued support of my family and friends. They have helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. They are always just a phone call and a cup of coffee away. Loosing my son was devastating, I do not live in a new normal, I learned how to move forward in my life and enjoy life again.

I am grateful I still have my mom and brother. Mom turns 80 years old this weekend. My brother is able to be here to help celebrate. Even if it will be a quiet party with a few friends. She wanted sub sandwiches and carrot cake, so this is what she shall have. This will also give me a chance to see my brother again. (he does not know this yet,but I am enlisting his help with some of my fall clean-up). Lavender can be tricky to shape and cut back. We both enjoy seeing new homes and get ideas.

I am grateful for the changing season ahead.  love the crisp cool mornings like this morning. I even enjoy a foggy day. (It reminds me of when I was a girl visiting my grandparents in Santa Barbara. watching the fog clear up into a sunny day.) The red and golden colors on the tree-lined streets, Pumpkin Mania, school harvest carnivals, a crackling fire in the fireplace on a chilly night. Friends over for home-made chili and corn bread, a good Agatha Christie Movie.

Walks around nice lake front neighborhoods. I live in so many well-kept, gracious homes, I often go on a dream tour and come back to my home feeling blessed. I live in a smaller home than some, but I live a block from the river. We have paved walking paths, nature, the river, deer, birds singing, ducks with their babies swimming in the cove, paddle boards enjoying the mountains and beautiful home along the river. I must say, I do have so much to grateful for. Sometimes we feel over whelmed with commitments, saying no, home repairs, car repairs, we wonder if our paycheck is going to stretch enough.

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Remebering Levi

July 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

 

I will never forget the day my son bought his truck; He took his grandma for a ride, then came back to take his mom for a ride( Grandma was chauffeured around for a couple of months).  Levi was tickled pink that he could afford such a nice vehicle. My son laid carpet and installed granite counter tops so his boss was just as thrilled now there were two trucks to haul daily materials. Levi tired of his truck and bought him his dream car-a Mitsubishi Eclipse. He was proud of his nice new car. He laughed that the color was dark green, his favorite color. His boss frowned because he lost his second truck for materials.

One sunny Sunday morning, Levi and his friends set out to float the river. I remember this particular day was the hottest day of the summer. At eight p.m. I received the call no parent wants-my son was involved in a tragic car accident. I went numb, I could not think of my life without the most important part of my life. My son was placed on life support. After five days and countless prayers later,our lives were forever changed. I often end my posts with the “hug your kids extra tight, tell them how much you love them, and how proud you are of them.” We are not promised tomorrow, only today. Make the most of your day, take the time to have your back yard cook-out,plan your day trip with family and friends.enjoy the beauty of each new day.

Each new day I am given, I am blessed by the love and support of family and friends. I have the best neighbors, live in a great small town where everyone knows each other, when my house needed refreshed, a good friend came over and painted,  another friend helped me turn my house into a beautiful home with Victorian charm. I had to realize even though my life was forever changed with loosing my husband and son, I need to keep moving forward. I turned my sons old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed in the morning and put on my pajamas at night. I have so many fond memories of the fine young man Levi had become.

Every year, I write a story about my son’s life for hope for other parents going through a similar circumstance. Our lives changed in a way we could not see coming. Every morning you wake up,listen to the birds singing a new song, enjoy the sunshine on your face and  keep moving forward. i am healing more everyday, and I writing helps keep my sons memory alive. thank you all for your support and kind comments. This really helps keep me motivated to keep writing.

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Downsizing

June 8, 2017 at 3:40 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

 

The older I get, the more I am realizing I can learn to live with less stuff. I am organizing my summer this year to include editing of stuff I do not need. This fantastic idea did not happen over night mind you, but having lunch yesterday with a dear friend helped me to get started.

My friend and I met yesterday early afternoon for a nice Chinese lunch. We made plans to head into the next town to shop for curtains for our living rooms. As we shopped, we talked about our rooms of horror. My friend having company this weekend was busy trying to get her home ready for company, I found out a high school friend recently moved here after she retired; We made plans to meet at my house and then go hiking. The day we planned on meeting, it was thunder and lightning for the next three days. I spent the time wisely cleaning out my closets,under beds, inside my laundry room. My office is next on my list to do. Someone once asked me if “I felt better now that I have purged in a few rooms?” I told her “no, I had to do it someday anyway.” I am not one who goes out and accumulates more stuff once the old stuff has been given to Goodwill. 

I don’t know what is  when we are having someone stop by our house, but I get in a Merry Maid mode or something. I figure this is as good a time as any to edit my no longer used items. It is amazing how much stuff we are holding onto when we start to clean out say under the bed(we thought the kids rooms were bad). Okay, I do not have dirty dishes from say 1990 under the bed, but my childhood suitcase can go to another little girl. I do not remember buying and storing so many candles under my bed!. Some are hardly burned. I know I used to use them for seasonal display. I am making a plan to have only one bed spread for the year. I would switch out bedding in Spring and fall to have a nice new bedroom to look forward to. I never realized how much you store in bedding,decorative pillows, pictures, etc. you keep in bins. I already cleaned out my garage last year. My friend installed insulation to the walls, and since he had his pickup at my house, we just loaded up the tree branches, lattice, a pile of wood none came to get, and while we were at it, we built a new back fence. 

I am thankful thirty years ago my late husband and I bought our forever home together. The house was turn-key when we bought it. We used to host parties and enjoyed lively conversations and watching the kids play outside. I am still hosting smaller gatherings these days. With everyone having a busy schedule, i like to have a good friend over in the evening for desert and maybe a movie. I enjoy the occasional lunch catching up with my dear friends or meeting at a coffee-house. I am enjoying my life in my middle age. Even though my life was forever changed with the deaths of both my husband and son, I ma moving forward in the good things God has for me. I enjoy sitting outside on my patio listening to the birds chirping and the crickets. sweet music being made for my enjoyment. 

 

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The Big Snow

January 11, 2017 at 10:49 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

images (7)This has been the craziest winter for years. I do not remember a time when we had a bad snow storm, followed by sub-zero temperatures,then six more inches of snow. Fall and Winter are usually the two Seasons I love best. this year, the snow needs to let up, the sub-zero temps need to be above my age, (yes, I know,that is Spring temps.)and people need to slow down for road conditions. I think we had 195 collisions and four being fatal just last week.

Folks talk about the Big Snow of 196-. Kids jumped off the roof tops but landed two feet into the snow drift. Some families could not get out the front door because the snow was so heavy. Neighborhoods had snowman and snow fort contests followed by a chilli cook offs. Families pulled kids around the neighborhoods on ATV’s. I did not live in the area yet,but I have witnessed my fair share of snowy winters. My family used to head up to one of the many ski resorts and we would go sledding down the mountain.Afterwards,we headed to Denny’s to warm up. My parents had a motor home at the time,so we piled as many friends into the thing as we could. So much laughter,telling stories of sking mishaps,and a fun afternoon had by all.

I grew up in california where we had to drive to the snow. The family would take off on saturday and head to Bishop or Wrightwood. My twin brother and I wished we could live in a State where we could just walk outside the front door and see snow(silly me). The family moved to Idaho in 1981 after my dad had an accident at work. We needed to move to a drier climate. We already had family who moved here the year before and found us a house; My mom still lives in the same house in a safe neighborhood. The guy across the street makes sure her driveway is kept clear of snow. He is really appreciated. A few years ago when we had a bad winter, the weatherman asked everyone who could help,dig your elderly and disabled neighbors out. It sparked a community effort to keep everyone clear and safe. It sometimes takes the snow plows a couple of days to get to the side streets and blocks.

I know in six weeks we will be letting go of Winter and welcoming Spring. Trading our snow shovels and de-icer for garden supplies( I hear you out there) for  a moment longer, I want to enjoy not sub-zero temps, but at least 40 degrees. When the sun hits the tree- lined trees and mountains, it is breathtaking. Soon, we will make way longer days, warm sunshine,  watering the grass, planting new flowers,  updating the landscape. Soon we will be enjoying the Annual Garden Tours, B&B Tours, and lake fun activities. Hold on to your swim trunks and swim suits for now,we still have to get through the rest of this Season before we can start planting again.

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I light a Candle For You

December 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

images (8)I light a candle celebrating my son Levi. I look back on how far I have come in my healing,finding inner peace among my struggles, and I am thankful for my many wonderful friends I can count on in times of trouble.

When talking about the incomparable Levi De Gon, many thoughts comes to many minds. He was generous, I love the sparkle in his eyes,his infectious laugh, his compassion for others. When Levi was 19 years old, he and I decided it was time for him to move out. He moved in with his Grandmother to help her after his beloved Grandpa passed away. My mom sure kept Levi honest; The front door locked at 10:00 p.m. Levi’s friends would call my mom at 9:59 asking her to wait another 5 minutes, he was on his way home. My mom was the perfect bank,once you handed her money to put away,well you guessed it-you would not be seeing it for a while. (called a savings account son).

When Levi bought his first truck,he proudly drove his Grandma around in style. He helped her get her weekly groceries,well he was able to suggest items for the next weeks dinner menu if he came along. My mom was helping him save up for his first apartment; not many young adults had the whole place furnished, Levi would have. I raised a good kid. He had made a  few poor choices he had to deal, with but we all got through it.

I went to a candle memorial service in honor of my son. We were all given a dove Christmas decoration. I placed three on my pencil tree. What a great way to remember the love, laughter, life Levi had brought me. I find peace in the midst of my struggles knowing he touched so many lives in his young life. I do not live my life with regrets-yes I am sad he had to leave so young, but I have so many others I help in his honor.Hug your kids extra tight tonight,don’t let a day go by you don’t tell your loved ones how much you love them,how much they mean to you and how proud you are of them. Life can truly change forever in a moment.

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