Surviving

Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to attempt to convey what life has thrown at us the past couple months. Actually the entire past year. 2014 got off to a sad start with the shocking dead of Steve’s cousin Bill. He and Bill have been birthday twins ever since he arrived earthside two years after Steve. Attempting to pick up the pieces of a life gone before it’s time is never easy and we were left reeling with the suddenness and sadness of it all.

A couple months later we traveled to TX to see my treasured MaMaw for her 99th Birthday. This strong, humble, sweet and kind woman has influenced me in more ways than I can count and I am so grateful our children were able to meet her. Despite being very weak she held Mark and teased and played with him. A few weeks after our visit she slipped away quietly, surrounded by her living children with the same beautiful dignity that had been such a distinguishing characteristic her entire life.

Mark and Mamaw

Mark and Mamaw

After her death a sort of surreal feeling settled in. It was just hard to accept that we had lost someone important from both sides of the family. One expected, one unexpected, both incredibly hard.

On our way home from our TX trip our sweet Cman broke his arm in two places in a playground accident. A couple months later he re-broke the same arm. My Mama heart didn’t handle seeing my little dude in such pain two times in a single summer! Somewhere in the middle of all of this various challenges and stresses arose with some of the properties we are responsible for. On-going stresses from that piled onto our already overloaded plates.

Cman and Mama at the ER with a badly broken arm

Cman and Mama at the ER with a badly broken arm

Another couple of roadtrips later and a few months later our world was again rocked with an unexpected death. Our friend and the owner of www.morethanalive.com had died suddenly in an accident on his way back from a Prison Ministry he participated in every weekend. Vlad and Joy were one of the first couples to welcome us to TN and befriend us when we moved here several years ago. Our company www.beeyoutiful.com and theirs had worked together as our interests and passion in sharing tools to help individuals live healthier and more joyful lives overlapped.

The trauma of Vlad’s sudden death was compounded by an immediate flood of drama at every turn. Support and kindness poured in from all corners of the US and beyond to show love to his family. At the same time various dynamics came to a head and drama exploded on multiple fronts. Those of us close to the situation attempted to navigate the difficult circumstances with as much wisdom as possible. As the days turned into weeks a swirl of transitions happened at a very rapid rate. The decision was made for Beeyoutiful to own and manage MoreThanAlive and facilitate a continued support to Vlad’s family. And then my brother John and Joy were married.

As we barrel into the Holiday season while attempting to integrate two companies and continue to manage our normal responsibilities to Beeyoutiful and family while supporting an ambitious schedule of new products and growth the sheer logistics are staggering. Part of me wants to just go to bed and not come out until this horrendous year has finished itself out and then creep back out when we find out whether or not 2015 is going to be any kinder. Another part of me is filled with determination to finish this year out celebrating the many incredible blessings we have around us.

3 incredible kids, a business with the most amazing team ever to work with, the opportunity to learn and grow…there is so much good. One of the things I’m most grateful for are the many friends who have shown love, care, kindness and support. It means so much when a series of life events just keeps coming with hits to have people who show love in those basic, real ways.

Right now my life goal is to survive the next few weeks of work without finishing frying off my adrenals and sending my health into a tailspin. Easier said than done but also easier thanks to the awesome teammates helping to carry the many challenges before us. I’m determined to cling to the good and step forward with gratefulness for what we have and not take the time we have with loved individuals for granted. We truly do not know what the future holds and that is both the most terrifying and comforting thing in the world to me right now. I will admit to having a countdown to 2015 though…It’ll be somewhat comforting to officially say goodbye to 2014.

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