Follow My Journey

With the festive holiday season behind me, I took some time to reflect on the gifts I received in 2019. Those gifts came in all shapes and sizes. Some gifts made me smile and feel lucky to be alive. Several gifts brought me tears of sadness that emphasized that time is passing and life changes. Selected gifts brought me strength, hope and excitement for the future. Specific gifts were so fabulous that there are no words to describe them. Special gifts gave me the encouragement to pursue my dreams. “A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.” –Frederick W. Faber.

The gifts I received in 2019 include:

  1. The gift of life shining through our grandchildren: Megan, Ben, Olivia, Sam, Lily, Veda and Ziva. A new gift will arrive in July 2020…perhaps, a boy this time?
  2. The gift of graduation and launching a new career for my son, Austin. I’m so proud of you!
  3. The gift of health while working through hand surgery that allows me to be relatively pain-free.
  4. The gift of acknowledgement for Green Snakes on the Ceiling from Story Monsters Ink and being Story Monster Approved for children’s libraries.
  5. The gift of terrific co-workers who make the workday interesting. What a cast of characters: Jim, Jenn, Roberta, Judy, Terri, Kathy, Debi, Joan, Jamie, Tracy, and Robin!
  6. The gift of delicious lunch and dinner dates (and lots of stories – we need and agenda to stay on track!) with fabulous friends.
  7. The gift of meeting new friends, by accident or providence…they are true treasures.
  8. The gift of finding a new church home at Oak Pointe Church in Milford.
  9. The gift of celebrating another birthday with health and happiness surrounded by family.
  10. The gift of a positive attitude as I fiercely embrace the inevitable “silver” mane of my 63 years.
  11. The gift of sharing another Christmas and New Year holiday with my family.
  12. The gift of my family…from Facetime to face-to-face time; enjoying a special September dinner with Austin and Michala; Thanksgiving with extended family, Christmas morning with all the kids (missing Andi, Dom, Sam, and Lily) and a laid-back Christmas afternoon with immediate family.
  13. The gift of being able to pursue my dream of writing…an upcoming 2nd Edition to “A Far Cry…From Home” that shares growth and connection through grief over the past six years. I have high hopes of completing the ever-elusive romance titled Bittersweet Raine. Two children’s books are in the works: I Am Unique that highlights the alphabet using alliteration while featuring special and unique young characters in my life; and Peanut Beetle and Jelly Squish Discover Detroit showcasing two curiously cute characters as they visit many of Detroit’s “wow” tourist attractions.
  14. The gift of acceptance through loving and honoring those we have lost, reveling in those who make life worth living, and relishing each day as the gift it is.

“There are souls in this world who have the gift of finding joy everywhere and leaving it behind them when they go.” -Jonathan L. Huie. What gifts did you receive or leave behind in 2019?

Thanks for reading!

– Sandy Richards

Sandy Richards is a devoted mom and celebrated author whose experience of losing a child has allowed her to connect, inspire and heal with other grieving parents through her memoir A Far Cry ...From Home and her blog. In addition, Sandy strives each day to inspire children to read, imagine, and smile through her award winning children’s books and ongoing volunteerism in her local school district. Sandy lives with her husband, Joe, in Milford, MI.