For sleepless nights and dawn rising anyway.
For extra tight hugs with my beloved, understanding in our eyes.
For tears close to the surface. For hot coffee and peppermint mocha creamer.
For Christmas cheer sneaking in even in the midst of sadness.
For weekly reminders of living real: providing care for babies-to-fives who feel no shame in their need or expressing it, who ask for help with wide eyes and open hands, who hug hard, who cry and laugh and forgive in the same breath, who see one another sobbing and come over with gentle patting hands. For my aching heart finding grace in the middle of it all, my replumped body plopped on the floor, my soft lap filled with adoring kids and a big book held in front of us, for being in this moment wholly.
For sunshine and blue. For reprieve, even if only for a day or a moment.
For the next day, tear-soaked and heart-aching, feeling e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
I give thanks.
Because feeling means we are still here.
We are still trying. We have not given up hope.
Because sometimes grief stories and grace stories mingle.
Often, they do.
And it is enough. Our realness.
Our traveling this wild life,