The Second Chance

Death has many effects on people. When we find out that someone we love will no longer be able to answer our phone calls or hug us when we are lonely, our minds, our souls, and our hearts goes into overdrive.

Our mind has us examine everything we have ever been taught. It is in our mind that we replay every single second with our loved one that we can remember. It is with our mind that we picture their faces and their smile and hope that our mind will not ever let these images become faint. It is with our mind that we figure out the arrangements that must be made, the things that goes here and the people who get what. We must somehow work out a way to survive without this person. We must think of ways in which we can continue on without them. We are forced to think of a future world without them and are completely made to reinvent any idea of our lives. Our mind tells us that while nothing will be the same again we will be able to go on. We will find a strategy, we will compute, we will go on.

Our soul feels lost. Our soul searches for an answer late at night through blurry eyes from a higher power. Our soul feels empty, which feels like someone has managed to scoop out the deepest of your insides. Our soul silently prays for a sign, any sign, just to know that their soul has not left ours, and this is a process that will haunt you for the rest of your own life if you do not find an answer. Our souls search within ourselves to see the ways in which our loved one has changed us. The way in which they have inspired us and pushed us and saved us. Our soul looks for this and always seems to find it. Our soul feels our loved one in the warm summer sun, or the way the flowers grew just right this spring or the way a ladybug seems to always be near. Once our soul doesn’t feel empty anymore, once it finds the connections we have made to their soul we are able to feel ok again. Our soul searches for an answer, our soul fills us and gives us hope when our mind tells us they are gone. Our soul knows that they will never truly be.

Our heart takes us on another journey. One filled with questions and longing. Our heart makes us hug our children and little tighter at night and reminds us to pray before we sleep. It makes eggs and toast taste extra delicious and it makes us rethink the fight we had with our significant other. It makes us call up that person that we seemed to push away and it makes us crave forgiveness for our many past mistakes. It makes us cry and show emotion when we normally keep to ourselves. It makes us hug and love much harder than we have in a long time. It is our heart that forces us to realize the uncertainty of time and also the way in which we have decided to fill it. Our heart makes us forgive our friend and give a parent a second chance. Our heart makes us notice the way our lives have ended up and gives us hope to change it. It is with our heart that we see how the person would have wanted us to live. While our mind reprograms and our soul searches, it is our heart that tells us the right way to go. Our heart that takes a death and a loss and uses it to reshape our lives.

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Scotland

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Scotland

“Traveling- it makes you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller” – Ibn Battuta

I miss Scotland and I miss traveling. Currently working away in school and missing adventures. The next one is to NYC for the ball drop. Here I come.

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Hope on the Move

One million U.S. adults are living with a blood cancer. Every 4 minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every 10 minutes someone in the U.S. dies from a blood cancer. Unfortunately these facts are real. But, Organizations like The Leukemia and Lymphoma society help these number drop dramatically. We need your help, I need your help. My team, Hope on the Move, is walking for the end of blood cancers on October 12th. My family is living proof that this society helps saves lives by funding research programs, like the one my mother chose to participate in, that has saved her life. This group not only saves lives of cancer patients, it saves families from having to deal with an incredible loss. These are the facts in our modern world, but we have the power and the tools to change them if only we work together. Anything will help. Just click on the link below and click on my name, Ashley to donate under me. Isn’t using the old, faded one dollar bill you have in the back of your wallet to help end the fight of cancer more of a use than letting it lay around? 

A Lifetime Apart

They were already there when we found a place to sit at the other end of the long worn down leather bench. I sat on the bench and you sat across from me just as she sat on the bench and her husband sat across from here. A simple bench length separated a lifetime. As they were eating and chatty quietly a couldn’t help but to sneak a peek. I began to see you and I at that age, I began to see our future flash through my mind like a reel of a movie. In five minutes the extension of our lives played for me like a prime time movie. I saw myself walking down the aisle in an overpriced lace gown toward you. I saw myself tucked quietly beside you in our large and cozy bed. I envisioned you and I dancing around our new home with smooth wood floors and a colorful doorway. I saw us drinking wine in Italy and taking pictures by the Eiffel tower. I saw our hair begin to grey and I felt the way your dark skin began to feel after holding mine for 50 years. I watched our lives, or rather my hopes and dreams of our lives play in rapid speed across the well traveled free way of my mind. When reality forced my derailment off the free way, I finished with a look at the people on the other side of the bench, hoping that one day, 70 years from now that would be you and I.

During her soft discussion with her husband over lunch, she couldn’t help but to take a sneak peek at the young couple at the other end of the bench. While her husbands voice began to tailor off her mind went into rewind. She saw the  first day she  met him on the crystal summer day on that beach in July of 1940. She saw the long days and nights she cried over her bed waiting and praying for him to return from war. She saw the way he grabbed her by the waist and gave her that kiss that would forever burn on her lips,  in his sailor uniform the first day he got home. Her memories flew through the time he got down on one knee on that beach 5 years later and asked for her hand. She saw herself walk down the aisle in her mothers soft dress and the new home they saved up for. She saw their first child being born and the over worked hand that he still holds hers with. The reality of the restaurant snapped her back into the world at hand and stopped her black and white rewind reel. She stopped her husband mid speech and held his hand. She gave him the same look that she gave him that blue sky day they met so many years ago.

Each couple secretly sneaked peeks of each other from the ends of that smooth leather bench over lunch that day. One woman looked at the end of the bench and her mind flew into fast forward, one into rewind. Both not knowing that the other is wishing for their beautiful lives.