Adversity in life magnifies what is truly important.

With our kids heading back to school today and I am always filled with such mixed emotions. I LOVE our summers together and the fun memories that we make. Especially after this summer’s Chair The Hope ride that brought our family closer together but also covered most of July, I have been longing for a few more weeks to enjoy the weather and experiencing more adventures as a family.

After loading Cortlyn on the bus, the house was quiet and I decided our “game room” needed to be de-summerized and have the room and both closets organized. While dejunking and giving a few arm loads to be repurposed at the local second hand store, I came across some old photos. Many of these pictures I have not seen for years and as I continued to thumb through them my eyes welled up with tears.

Special pictures of Nathan before his paralysis felt like little missing pieces of my heart had been found. I smiled through wet eyes at each memory and precious photo. My heart especially loved/ached for the ones with Nate holding Seniya’s hand on the beach and Nate carrying Kyler while on a walk. I very rarely think of what life would be like with a husband that could hike with the kids, build snow forts with them, rock a baby to sleep, and stand behind me and hold me tight, but these flashes of our past struck such an emotion with my soul that I wanted to be able to relive those miracle moments again! At the time they seemed so simple. At the time we took them for granted. At the time we thought we had years to experience life the “normal” way. But life had a different plan for us!

As a family we have been so blessed to be able to continue to live our lives UNFROZEN and to have experiences that have brought so much joy and happiness. I know there are many others that join our family in life altering losses, disabilities, illnesses, and challenges. I felt the need to share today that I know that there are tough days that you need to grieve, rough times when it’s difficult to breathe, hard moments when you wish to go back to “the way things were” and years that you can’t wait to start over!

I understand. We’ve been there. We haven’t experienced everything you have, but I want you to know that it can and will get better. The grief you feel can be replaced with a joy that far exceeds what you thought was possible. Trust that HE knows what and where you need to go and who you need to help. Our greatest love and joy that we have felt has been when we are serving others and helping make others’ lives sweeter.

Do I miss being able to have Nate stand up next to me and hold me tight? Of Course! Do I wish that he could be the one out running on the beach with the kids? With all my heart! But today as I found these amazing pictures, I realized that we have been given a gift of 15 1/2 more years together since his accident and I wouldn’t change that for anything!

“Adversity in life magnifies what is truly important.” Heather Ogde