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You Got This



I know there have been times in my life that life itself has knocked me to my knees. During those times I needed to make decisions about the way I was going to carry myself and those I loved through the pain. If I look back on the last decade, so much has changed for our family. You see, I am no different than anyone else. I may be a therapist, but life altering events have also happened to me and to my family.


I am going to share two stories of tragedy but also the rebuilding of life during and after the tragedies. These are not the only tragedies, but in time, I will continue to share more with my readers. My goal is to be transparent, human and relatable to my readers.


It will be ten years on June 6, 2022 that my brother unexpectedly died. I know that people unexpectedly die, whether it be by an auto accident, illness, or suicide. But my brother? The guy that was so full of life and encouragement for others, died. To say that it was a loss for our family, is a strong understatement. The process of trying to figure out how our family was going to function in a way that was going to resemble any assemblance of normalcy seemed like an impossible task. Each one of us grieved differently. It was strange, we all lost the same person, yet each one of us had our own special relationship with my brother which made the grieving process unpredictable. My friend Sue, said to me “Aren’t you angry with God?” I said, “No, I am blessed to have been his sister for 42 years.” I felt so blessed that God chose me to be Donny’s sister, so blessed. I decided that I needed to focus on what my brother’s life mission was and that was to encourage, support and figure out a way for people to achieve their goals. I knew that if I was going to honor my brother, I needed to do it in a way that would make him proud. I continue to remind people, just as my brother would do, “If you dream it, you can achieve it.” I know my brother did not coin the phrase, but he lived it and helped others to as well. In short, the pain of losing my brother doesn’t go away, but his life inspired me, among others. I will continue to spread the love my brother so wanted others to feel. He lived his best life everyday, without exception.


The second tragedy occurred in May 2018. My oldest grandson, Kenny, the kiddo who taught me how to be a grand-mom, was diagnosed with Burkett’s Lymphoma. Kenny’s diagnosis was devastating. At the time, Kenny was 15 years old. He had stage IV cancer. My daughter and son in law and I stayed by Kenny’s side as they ran all different tests. When the doctors came into his room and asked if they could speak to us in a private area, I knew, I just knew they were going to tell us that Kenny had cancer. I was so angry and confused. This sweet precious grandchild, had cancer. The doctors were going to tell him, but I insisted that someone who loved him, shared this news with him. I did not want my daughter to tell her son that he had cancer, so I told him. It was one of the hardest things that I had ever been called to do. Kenny’s father was also a fixture at Kenny’s bedside. I was so impressed by my daughter and Ken, they made sure that at least one of them was with him throughout his recovery. As the days turned into weeks, things got a lot worse, before they got better. I found myself sitting at Kenny’s bedside, talking to a child that was unconscious. The tears that fell from my eyes onto his forehead, I used my grand-mom tears to Baptize my grandchild, with the hope that a grandmother’s tears could fix just about anything. During this time of his diagnosis and recovery, again, our family was transformed. Kenny had the fight of a Lion, the grace of an angel and he never gave up. He was weak and he was tired, but I think he fought so hard for us. I thank God everyday for the fight he fought. Today, Kenny is almost 20 years old, he is healthy and has been in remission for a few precious years and we have no reason to expect that his remission will change.

In both of these instances, I called on my spirituality, my family and my faith.


I want this Blog to remind you, that no matter what life throws at you, there is a way to get through. Sometimes, we have to dig really deep, but, healing is just around the corner. From one person who knows what it is to pick themselves up, to another, you got this!


With love and respect,

Bernadette

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