With every person comes a story and the opportunity for new beginnings.  This is definitely one of those times for me as my life has been turned upside down! I was born and raised during the sixties in Phoenix, where it still felt like a small town even though it was growing rapidly. Listening for the Ice Cream Man every evening and shooting chinaberries with my sling shot were common events. Climbing on my bike and riding to the baseball field where we slurped on slushies’ and just hung out until the sun faded and the smell of orange blossoms permeated our very thoughts was just part of summertime. Life was very carefree for me growing up. Of course there were challenges but in retrospect, they were minor compared to what lie ahead for me!  

I met my current husband of 34 years, Clayton, in Rocky Point, Mexico. We married four years later when we were both sure that this would be a true life time relationship. Both my husband and I were only children which created a strong need for us to begin a family as soon as possible. Life moved fast for us as we had three children by the time I was 25.  So many stories to share with you about those times, but let’s keep moving and we will revisit them later. We went on to have one more child later on in our life just when we thought that we were pretty much finished with the early child rearing years. What a blessing he was, as were all of our children, but we just weren’t anticipating this one.   You know the cliché, “You complete me”?  Well, he completed our family.  The tapestry was vibrant and colorful.

As with any family, the years brought so many moments of the most memorable and intense joy, as well as excruciating pain and heartache. Currently, our oldest son is 33, married and serving in the US Army; our daughter is 31, divorced with three children and just became a RN; our next son is 28, married and serving in the US Air Force; next is our youngest son who would have been 18 this last April but is residing in Heaven instead. He died by suicide 18 months ago, which we will speak more about another time.

So how did I get here? I used to tell my kids all the time to “Bloom where you are planted”. After a lifetime of being focused on providing a “home” for my family, 34 years later I have had to re-evaluate what “home” means. All of my children live out of my home state Arizona, my youngest son is in Heaven, and my husband is working in Dickinson, North Dakota. Suddenly, I am traveling constantly to and from wherever my family is, with the exception of Heaven, which if I could I would visit there as well. What do I take with me and how do I create “home” wherever I am? I leave behind my mom, friends and support system that have helped me with the loss of our son. We all agreed that we would just say “See you later,” not goodbye!  Everything seems so temporary and new except what lives in your heart, which you take with you no matter where you go.

So for today, my new beginning, I have my books, music, some cherished pictures, my favorite candle burning, my Bible, and all of the thoughts jumbled up inside my head. When I finish writing, I will go to the local nursery and buy some flowers so that I can “Bloom where I am planted!”