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Circle of Life (18)


A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain. -Mildred Stouven

My grandmother had many coined sayings that she routinely wove into conversations which have been etched in my memory forever. She was a progressive woman who always held her head high and never looked back. She was the epitome class, refusing to allow the events she faced in life define her, but rather learn from them, reinvent herself and create her own destiny. One thing she taught me very young was, with life there is death and with death there is life. As a young girl, years ago, I learned about the correlation between the two when she would recount two events which changed my family forever on a fateful December day in 1958.

On that day, my father was turning 15. Heading home from basketball practice, as he walked up the hill to his house from his high school, he noticed that there were many cars parked outside on the street surrounding the house. Assuming that there was a birthday celebration waiting for him when he arrived home, he had no idea what news would be presented to him when he walked through the front door. A day that was supposed to be full of celebration, in a moment, became a day of mourning and an event that would mark our family history forever. Over the years, my grandmother constantly reminded us that each year that she would never speak about the sadness that occurred on my father's birthday, but chose to look past it and focus on the happiness, celebrating my father's life.

The universe never ceases to amaze me whether it be the correlation with dates and events, people you encounter, or situations we face, which are so poignant that there is no denying that a greater purpose exists. While we all may want to resist these circumstances because the pain may seem too overwhelming in the moment, it's only when we embrace and accept what we cannot change that we can achieve the peace that we so desperately desire. We never forget these events, they toughen us, and become part of of who we are, but they also soften an inner part of our being which allows us to evolve into the person we never knew we could be.

Today, August 18th, I celebrate my Vincent - my child who, in spite of his struggles, remains more determined than anyone I know. Although I always envisioned a life where he became a doctor and changed this world for the better, I now understand that through you, I am going to change the world to make it a better place for you and all those like you.

On this same day, I mourn the loss of someone who changed my life forever - next month would have been 20 years since we first met. Tim, you really were one in a million. Your laughter and silliness always made me smile. You heart was pure and full of true love. You said what you meant and meant what you said. It is because of you that I am who I am today. I always joked with you that you were to blame for my life, but I understand that there was a greater purpose behind the day that we met. Rest easy my friend. xoxo


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