Love is the evidence of a life devoted to God. The more you love, the more you live. I have always known it but this year I embraced it in a HUGE way. I have had words rolling around in my head for days and days that I have had difficulty writing down. So many feelings and emotions experienced and it’s all right here at my finger tips and yet I have been staring at nothing but a blank page for two days. So I thought I would just do a little heart dump and see where it leads us. One year ago today I buried my daughter. It is a day that will be burned into my memory for the remainder of my days. It was the last day I saw her face this side of heaven, the last day I touched her cheek, the last day I held her hand before we laid her into the ground. Dust to dust. I loved her with ALL I had and when I lost her, I thought I could not take another step. I didn’t think it was possible to live without her but God has graciously shown me otherwise. This morning I found myself once again attending a funeral for a wonderful 88 year old man who was such a delight to know. This time I was the one attending the family and helping them face the day. God gave me a gift on Nov. 3, a new beginning, a new way to love and serve him. Oh, what a difference a year makes. 2015 was a very hard year for me. A challenging year for sure but also one filled with great hope. It was a year that saw tremendous change for me and my family. Yesterday I asked Jonathan how he was doing with ALL the BIG feels. How was he fairing now that life looks so different for him and for me? His answer has not left me. He said “Well Mom, the current situation is best for all involved.” At first I thought “How Vulcan of you son,” then I kind of broke it down and realized he had said something very profound and completely true. The current situation is indeed BEST for all involved. Courtney is in Heaven free, whole and praising God for an eternity. Jerry and Jonathan are both gainfully employed in new jobs that they absolutely love. I have a job I love as well and it stretches me daily. Jonathan may not always show emotion when I think he should, but darn, does that boy get it. His faith and love for the Lord run very deep. He is able to really look at life with an eye toward eternity. It’s pretty amazing for a twenty-six year old pasta loving, vegetable hating, beard growing, Dr. Who loving video game fanatic. Jerry and I watched “In and Out” the other night. What a sweet movie. It’s message that life is filled with sadness and joy, that you can’t have one without the other, touched us deeply. So true. Life is messy and filled with moments of great joy and of heart wrenching sadness. That’s how it goes. 2015 showed me that I can survive anything as long as my eyes remain on Jesus. For He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. I belong to Him first and foremost. That gives me great peace to know that I don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. That’s Jesus’s job. Mine is to call upon him and give him my life…every single day. So bring on 2016. Bring on the new adventures and the trying times. Bring on the good, the bad and the fantastic. Bring on the challenges and the easy peasy. Bring it all. For with God, anything is possible. Love is the evidence of a life lived for Christ. Love…I have so much love…for life, for my family, for my parish, and for my God. Happy New Year to one and all!