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Sharing Grace in honor of my T.J.'s Birthday

This year T.J.’s birthday crept up on me in a different way than it has in past years since he left this earth in an act of suicide. This has been a year like no other in many ways. But for me I’ve had other years that are like no other—2010 being one of them— and I’ve learned the human spirit can carry us through almost anything if we move forward with an open heart. I’m not saying it is easy, just possible. No doubt these are challenging times and people are struggling in so many ways.

Gratitude is my saving grace. It is how I start every day when my eyes open as the first rays of sunshine stream into my bedroom. This gratitude practice has become my touchpoint. It has broadened my mind and awakened my soul. It has caused me to root deep down because there have been many days when it really is hard to find something to be grateful for, but if I take a deep breath, still my mind and look into my heart I can always find something and then another and then another. So much to be grateful for—even in the wake of heartbreak and in the midst of heartache.

Today, T.J.’s birthday, I started my day with gratitude for the beautiful boy who entered my world on September 23, 1994. T.J. was and remains the definition of grace: a divinely given blessing. He was always filled with wonder and he continues to open my mind and heart in many ways. I now see the beauty in the broken and understand that anyone and everyone can be in pain regardless of how they present themselves to the world. I’ve learned to redirect my reaction to judge to instead consider the multitude of life pain that might be at the root of another’s actions and I am so grateful for this understanding.

T.J. is with me every day. He propels me forward with grace to do more, help more, give more—and in the doing, helping and giving there is so much light, hope and healing—there is grace.

Happy Birthday T.J. I love you, Mom


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