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one family's decision to choose hope over despair

View the 2017 Newsletter

Finding Purpose in Pain

A little over three years ago, I lost one of the greatest gifts God gave me: my Mom. Just months before her sudden and unexpected death, I gave her the perfect card. It said, 'Mom' is such a small word for something that means 'everything in the world.' Her special meals, desserts, listening ear, frequent hugs, unwavering support, giddy excitement to spend time with me, and laughter made my spirit soar! With her on my side, I felt equipped to become the best person I could be.

With her earthly departure, a portion of my light and airy spirit chased her soul to Heaven and left me with a gaping, achy hole. This painful emptiness still taunts me with memories of my better, happier, whole self. There are many-a-time I secretly yearn to find my way back to the old me...the me that had a Mom who made every experience more full and rich.

By words, or through exasperated looks, I can tell those around me think it's time to get over my loss. But like a veteran who loses a limb in battle, my loss cripples me. My life will never be the same. I will never get all of my spirit back. Pain and grief will periodically claim me; on even the brightest of days.

Over time, I have become better acquainted with this shadow I carry. While I used to think it was necessary to escape, overcome, or forget about my loss, I now know it has become intricately entwined with my very purpose. To keep my Mom's memory alive, I abide by the many life lessons she took care to impart. To honor her countless acts of love, I make time to serve others and appreciate the little things. To give thanks for having an incredible Mom beside me for 44 years, I say "yes" to the next 'most terrifying thing' God calls me to do.

In fulfilling my purpose, my remaining spirit swells in an effort to fill the void. To those who have lost a loved one, whether it be to cystic fibrosis or other causes, I pray you find a purpose that keeps you moving forward and closer to healing each day.