Grateful.

Friends, I’d like you to meet Rick Lewis and his wife, Karrin.

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Rick dated my Mom in high school and on July 20, 1969, they watched Neil Armstrong become the first man to walk on the moon, through a black and white satellite feed broadcast from space, on a tiny TV set at my Grandparents’ beach cabin in Allyn, WA; the same waterfront paradise where I’ve been staying for the past week.

After my mother died, Rick found me (ahem, Facebook stalked me) and became my pen pal, but we only met in person for the first time yesterday. He hadn’t been out to the beach since that moon landing, nearly fifty years ago. But yesterday afternoon, on a perfect August day, he and his wife came by and piloted their boat toward shore and I jumped in, and we spent the afternoon telling stories and laughing and drinking wine and eating tapas and cruising around Case Inlet, the same body of water that my mother loved her whole life, the same body of water where two summers ago, my Aunt and Uncle and I climbed into a little tin boat and went out to sea to scatter her ashes.

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These last few weeks have been a wildly euphoric magic carpet ride, capped by such an incredibly special week at the beach with my family. I almost can’t believe how wonderful it all has been, so much so that I haven’t even really been able to sleep, probably because part of me is afraid this is all some sort of crazy dream.

As I write this, I’m crying, because being this happy has made me realize that I think I’d given up on the idea that I ever would be again. I thought the old Sarah, the sunshine-eyed girl that my Dad used to teasingly call Polyanna, was gone forever. Not because I’m a negative person – quite the opposite – but because for so long everything good seemed to be followed up by something horrifying and tragic and I had spent years crushed underneath the weight of so much sorrow and grief and pain that I simply couldn’t see my way out of it.

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I don’t know if it’s God or angels or magic or karma or what, but whatever force is at work in me now, I am just so grateful, grateful, grateful. I didn’t know my heart had the capacity to hold so much joy, but at 35 years old, it feels like I’m finally waking up to the beauty of what it means to be alive.

If you’re going through something, please hold on. Do it for me. Just over a year ago, I was crying so much I developed a paranoid fear of dying from dehydration (doesn’t that sound stupid and hilarious now?), and I was so achingly sad that out of desperation, I started writing myself “Get Well Soon” cards, putting them in the mail, and sending them to myself. I have been to the brink, and I have known real darkness, and somehow, some way, I came out the other side. And life is better and more beautiful than anything I could have ever dreamed. If I can get here from there, then trust me, so can you. Nothing is permanent in this life, my friends, not even our troubles. Believe that. I am living proof.

Until next time,

xx

Sarah

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14 thoughts on “Grateful.

  1. Congratulations. There is nothing so amazing as feeling like you are almost out the other side then looking back and realizing, wait, you are through. Smiles.
    I have to add this is the most amazing line “Just over a year ago, I was crying so much I developed a paranoid fear of dying from dehydration”

    • Thank you so much my dear! And that’s a true story about the crying – you would not believe all the ridiculous things I was worried were going to kill me. I’m glad I can laugh about it now!

  2. You Sarah were not born into this earth to be of great sorrows’ you’re a beautiful women with a beautiful soul’ a kindred soul at that’ didn’t I once post one of my favorite poems by Helen Keller for you?

    Here are two from Helen Keller:

    ~ The Best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the Heart – Helen Keller

    ~ Although the World is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming of it. – Helen Keller

    • Brock, I always look forward to your comments on my blog. And thank you for your kindness and for your beautiful words. You want to hear something crazy? My grandmother’s (my Mom’s Mom) maiden name was Hellen Keller. She was German, but then she married my grandfather, who was Czech, and became Helen Popelka. I’ll carry these words with me. Thank you.

  3. I want to feel that happiness that you’re talking about so desperately. I’m in a place right now that doesn’t seem to allow me to exist without a headache. As always, your post are inspirational for me.

    • I’m glad I can inspire you. Trust me, I’ve been where you are and for a long time I really believed nothing would ever, ever get better. Please be kinder to yourself than you think you deserve. Keep finding little ways to nurture yourself and take time for yourself. It may feel selfish, but it’s not. It’s self care. And keep telling yourself you’re doing the best you can. Because you are. ❤

  4. Wow! I’ve been in a funk for a while about a few different issues. One of the issues is a significant scientific discovery I’ve made, and getting it into action. During much of this time I have felt a new feeling for me, which is I felt like I was going to die at any time before things got into action. This was NOT a suicidal impulse, and I have no medical problems that could kill me. I had never felt this or heard of anyone feeling this until you put it into words. Now I am challenged to get my face into a big smile like yours. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. I like reading your posts,I think I am on the brink of something life changing or really boring.I’m trying not to overthink everything I do and just do what feels good. When I was in a very bad place almost 2 years ago I prayed. That was my magic. Am glad you’re now in your happy place. Funny how life can change and the sun seems like its shining again.

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