When my mother died of brain cancer, I was 22 and resentful. I spent the majority of her last year bitter that it was happening. That my kind, amazing rock was so suddenly stripped of her future. That I was robbed of a future with her. That my young life was interrupted by tragedy. I was a mess. Sullen, depressed, lost, so very sad and filled with regret.

When my baby was diagnosed with SMA and our doctor told us we would be lucky to get a year with her, I immediately knew I had to spend it differently. I was shattered and shocked, but I had matured enough to see this wasn’t an interruption to life — this WAS life and I knew every day together would be a gift that I would cherish.

When a life-altering experience that is beyond our control happens to us, it is indeed devastating. But within grief, we each have the opportunity to choose how we will frame our days and shape our perspectives. And those choices change everything.

I miss Gwendolyn with all of myself ~ but I don’t have regrets. We lived BIG when we could and cherished the miracle of the simple beauty in every day.

I hope in the struggle, you find the gifts too. They will carry you through the pain. NEVER GIVE UP.