I have learned to live with intent because to live is a gift. No one has the right to live. While some live to have a full life, others are taken too soon. Taking this short opportunity on earth to live with purpose is the best gift I can give my Savior. Making that first observation that we have no right to be here, but are blessed that we have been given the opportunity, is the first step to finding true happiness.
I have learned to be transparent in who I am. Those who love what they see have stuck around and those that cannot accept who I am have judged me. To both, I have peace with. To be true and honest to myself has been the most freeing experience.
I have learned to protect and enrich my family with confident, quiet grace. It takes only love and respect to make a family, or any relationship, thrive. Being a wind that causes a fire to grow higher only causes fire to spread and be destructive... something I no longer want to be involved in.
I have learned that there is a whole new way to appreciate your children, and it can only be discovered if you are forced to have to fight for them to survive. While I don't hope this on anyone or expect anyone to understand, I am thankful I personally was able to pull it from our experience.
I have learned to only put trust in a person if you are prepared for the disappointment that they may let you down. We are all human. We are all flawed. Just as I have been let down, I have let others down. Learning from it or being offended by it is the choice we make on our own, but which one is the one God would want us to choose?
I have learned that there is so much good in this world that we fail to see because we are forced by society to notice the negative. From random strangers to organizations, we have been blessed by good-doers, and will strive to always pay it forward.
How could I have not turned these last 4 months into a positive experience? The trial now will be to take home the reformed version of me and pray that she can keep the same focus. It shouldn't be too hard. I watched my daughter go from healthy baby and child to dying in a matter of a year.... but she came out FULL of life.... and I have this smiling face as my reminder: