If you haven't found this post on your own, you really need to take a few moments and read it here. Kathy McGraw has an amazing way of writing with truth, honesty and heart - this post is full of all of that and so much more...... Then go check out her blog - she's an amazing lady for sure!
The New Year of 2010 started off for me the same as most years, full of hope and optimism for the year to come. I had just ended a very difficult year with an increase in business, and resolutions to other challenges in my life, I had no reason to envision that in just a few short weeks a seemingly endless cycle of loss would start. Big losses and small, some that ripped my heart out, and some that any other year might have seemed big but this year were mere inconveniences. Amazing how loss can change our perspectives.
Let me backtrack to two years ago when Sally ran a very similar contest to this one. I had agreed to enter but for the life of me couldn't think of anything positive. Despair had taken over my world and health issues consumed what little normality I tried to maintain. If I could erase 2008 from my memory I would in a second, all except the Contest. It was because of my commitment that I focused on the beauty of life instead of losses.
I came to Active Rain back when there weren't that many people. It was a fun place, and the way it was set-up at the time we could see who was online and find them for what basically was a chat on whatever they had recently posted. But with all good things also come the bad. For me, it was loosing people that I came to care about.
"When you blog with a heart, you meet others with a heart."
This was what I wrote about someone in Blogging with a Heart.....Will we remember you when you're gone that I came to care about, someone that passed away just weeks before I would have met him in 2007. His passing was hard, and he did indeed leave a legacy for all that knew him. One of the comments on that post was from my dear friend Carol. She was our resident Feng Shui Consultant, and she also was very good about going to others blogs and writing honest, heartfelt entries.
Back to this year, and the cycle of loss. It started the third week of January for me when I lost my house. That was an overwhelming experience filled with guilt, and a lot of uncertainty as to the future. In the 2007 Holiday Balance Contest I had written that even though things were tough it was the sunrises and the sunsets that were the most important things. That time was one of total despair as I saw my life crumbling more every day, and it really was only the gifts of nature that sustained me. I fought every day to keep going, and in January of this year my fight was over...the bank took my house. I remember Laurie sending me a mail saying how she cried when she read my post. Never would I have dreamed that just a few months later I would cry over loosing her.
Gifts of Appreciation Contest was one I started where other members were encouraged to write about the people in our community here that they appreciated. The difference of this contest was the writer wouldn't receive any points, but instead the points would be given to the people that were acknowledged. Laurie Manny was one of 3 people that won by way of Lola Audu's entry, Sometimes the Wind Kisses a Wisp of Dandelion
"In a sense they are like the wind...I did not know them personally, yet their notes of encouragement, good humor and insight have inspired and guided my quest to become a better communicator. Their most significant contribution to me remains their willingness to give just a little bit." Lola Audu
This is really the legacy that Laurie and Carol left, their willingness to give, unselfishly. To give for no other reason than to help someone else become better at what they do, or be more aware. Both of them were Eagles, Giants, in their own way. One would kick us in the butt, the other offered soft teachings...but both made an impact. Both blogged, and taught with more heart than most.
"Give more than you take, and never leave anyone worse off than when you met them" is how I lead my life. Maybe that is why I connected with such wonderful people. Our hearts connected with compassion.
What do you say.....when it has all been said. Colleen Kulikowski said it all in her contest entry. Parallel posts, extremely similar being posted just hours apart. Yes, when we blog with a heart we do indeed find others with a heart! The Holiday Miracles this year are all the people that have reached out to each other during these losses, including the very sad news that little Gianni, Desire Daniels beautiful little boy just went to join the Angels in Heaven. One more loss...one more tear as this year winds down.
My wish for this Holiday: As the sun rises tomorrow, and all tomorrows, that our hearts will beat as one......we will be thankful for all we have and reach out to each other as we feel the losses of our friends. The sunrises and sunsets will remind us that the beauty of life only increases when we reach out and touch each other ~ when we not only Blog with a heart, but share it with others.