Celebrating Life

Encouragement for the weary…

I can distinctly remember standing at our firepit on December 31, 2017, looking up to the heavens and being genuinely exhausted at everything we had been through that year. 

My grandparents died within 36 hours of each other.

Then my beloved Talladega passed away a few months later.

All three stores we had booths in closed because of the economy which drastically affected our income.

We survived a winter tornado around my milestone birthday.

Then we had to ride out a hurricane at home in early fall because the storm was projected to pass over the entire state, including our hurricane safe house, Loblolly Manor.

Days after the storm passed, my uncle passed away.

A few weeks later our sweet dog Filbie started having seizures.

It was literally hit after hit after hit.

And because the hits came so quickly and so close together, I wound up burying all the grief.  

I just couldn’t process it fast enough.

As you can imagine delaying the entanglements of grief caused a completely different set of challenges.

I became a major stress eater, completely lacked any motivation to work out and I struggled with bouts of insomnia for months which made me feel like I was walking around in a fog.

Truthfully, there were times during that year I wondered if I would ever feel a sense of normalcy again.

Late last week as I watched the coverage of the snowstorms across the country, the devastation in Texas and participated in the moment of silence as the nation marked over 500, 000 deaths related to Covid-19, it immediately brought me back to that night in December when I was physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted from what seemed like the longest year ever.

I know some of you are in a season where it feels like the hits just keep coming and things will never feel right again.

To be sure, reconstructing a new life and embracing a new future takes time, and sometimes the steps forward feel like baby steps.

You are absolutely worth the effort though, so keep going.

Four years on, I can say things get better.

While every day might not feel like a good day, there are still good things to be found if we look hard enough.    

After all, the most beautiful stars can be found on the darkest nights.

With love and grace,

CoCo

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23 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry you had to go through so much all at once! It always seems like once you’re hit with one thing, many more keep coming at you. I love the last line you wrote! What an inspiring quote!! And your photos are beautiful, too!

    1. Thank you for your sweet and thoughtful words, Michelle, I really appreciate it. Without a doubt going through that year of non-stop hard experiences made me a stronger person. And if there were ever a time to encourage people that things do get better, it’s now. Sending you hugs for a happy day, CoCo

  2. You are a true survivor, my friend. Such devastating losses in your life and yet you continually find the silver lining and move forward. The struggle is real, I know it first hand, and this past year has made it so much more difficult. But as always, we must keep moving forward and having faith that all will be right in this world in time. Thank you for always being so honest and forthcoming with your heart. You have no idea how much it helps! Blessings and hugs, Christine. P.S. Your photos are absolutely breathtaking!

    1. You’re so sweet, Christine, thank you! Without a doubt that year made me a stronger person. While I hope to never have to go through so much again in such a short period of time, I’m thankful for all the lessons learned along the way. It’s definitely helped make reaching out to others in a kinder, gentler way a new mission. Sending you hugs and lots of prayers for your journey as well. You are loved, appreciated, and treasured!

  3. What a beautiful reflection on a hard season with encouragement along the way. I am hoping this next season proves to be full of new life, joy and deep connections. Thanks for sharing your heart. It left an indelible mark.

    1. Such sweet and kind words, Leslie, thank you! I know we’ve all been through a lot lately and if there were ever a time we needed encouragement it’s right now! I’ll be adding my prayers to yours that this next season is full of fresh hope and unexpected blessings. Hope your day has been a special one, CoCo

  4. How very nice to read these words of encouragement! Thank you so much for sharing what your have endured and offering the encouragement of hope.
    I wish you, I wish all of us, good days ahead.

    1. Thank you so much, Maria, I really appreciate it! It’s definitely not an easy thing to talk about but nothing about last year or the first few months of this year has been easy, you know? And if there ever was a year we needed to take extra care of each other, it’s this one ❤ Wishing you a Spring season of hope, health, and unexpected blessings, CoCo

  5. Oh, CoCo, I remember crying many tears with you during those horrible days. I had a few myself that year but none compared to what you went through. You have encoraged me so many times with your sweet words. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your thoughts as you look back on those days. 2020 has been a year full of heart breaks but we’ve seen so many ways human kindnesses have renewed our beliefs in how good people can be. Love & hugs to you – praying 2021 will be a year of blessings for us all.

    1. You have been such a sweet source of support, Patty. You lift me up with your kind words with each and every comment and you are so greatly appreciated. Any time I think things are getting hard or I feel overwhelmed, I often think back to that year and remind myself if I can get through that year I can get through anything. Especially, with sweet friends like you. Sending you lots of hugs and that this year brings you fresh hope, special adventures, and unexpected blessings. You definitely deserve them ❤ CoCo

  6. This is a lovely post. Thank you for sharing. It’s so refreshing when folks talk about both the ups AND the downs!

    1. Thank you for saying that, Corrie! I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s definitely a balancing act trying to decide how much to share but I know the valley experience is just as important as the mountaintop experience. Especially, this year. Hope your day has been a special one, CoCo

  7. Michele M. says:

    What a mindful and thoughtful post, Coco. Thank you.

    I have been getting hit after hit after hit the last 6 months – and during a pandemic. We have lost loved ones, can’t grieve properly due to postponement of the memorials – no one I know is hosting regular funerals right now. The list goes on and on – but yes, we must soldier on and
    stay focused and busy making the most happiness we can of our lives.

    I told my daughters the other day: “The little things are now the BIG things.”

    I wish you joy, peace,. love, laughter and hope….and good health to you and yours.

    1. Your kind words mean so much, Michele, thank you. I know this year has been such a tough one. Especially, given the amount of grief and loss you’ve had. I’m sure at times it feels overwhelming and hard to know how to process it all when you aren’t able to fully get closure. I love the way you’re teaching your daughters the little things are now the big things in the middle of it all. It’s such a sweet gift of truth to give them that will last a lifetime. Sending you lots of hugs and adding prayers of peace and strength for your journey. May each day find you surrounded by love and grace. And may you have wisdom and rest when you need it most ❤ CoCo

  8. Donna Marie says:

    Sometimes you are tested, but you must pray and hang in there.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Donna Marie. Prayer and perseverance change everything ? Hope your week is a special one, CoCo

  9. Thank you for sharing your story, the uplifting post and encouragement.

    1. You are so welcome, CathyAnn. I know this past year has been a tough one for so many people and in some ways, January and February have felt like an extension of 2020 as well. Thankfully, each day is the chance for a fresh start. And we are all about perfectly imperfect and second chances. ❤ Sending you hugs if you’re also in the midst of one of those seasons or have been supporting someone through it, Hugs, CoCo

  10. Thank you for sharing such an amazing, encouraging post. It really is so important to process our feelings in a healthy way, and to count our blessings daily!

    1. Thank you for your sweet and kind words, Heidi, I really appreciate it. It was definitely a tough year but looking back I’m thankful to have through it. It really helps me put things in perspective when things feel wild and out of control. I think the pandemic is going to be a year like that for others too. I just keep reminding myself and others that have reached out. Every step forward is a step in the right direction. Sending you hugs for a happy week, CoCo

  11. I did not know I needed to read these words so much. Thank you for the kindness, and I am so sorry for all the hits you received from life this past year. And can I say– your images today just made me stop and take a deep breath. So calming.

    1. So sweet of you to say, Angie, thank you. I really appreciate it. It was such a wild year with tons of growth and lessons learned. Now that I’m on the other side, I can appreciate them all. But sometimes when you’re going through a heavy season you just need someone to come alongside you and remind you that you can do anything. Even when it feels hard. The photos were taken in the South Carolina Lowcountry during the golden hour and were just too pretty not to share. Hope your week is a blessed one and cheering you on, CoCo

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