“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” ~Bernice Johnson Reagon

At the age of 37, my beautiful young mother, who I considered my best friend, crashed her car in light rain just around the corner from our home. We will never know what really happened because she woke up from her brain injury a very different person from the one who drove away that morning.

The experience of suddenly becoming a caregiver at the age of 16, along with my 13 year-old brother and the rest of our family, could fill the pages of a how-to manual. I could have benefited from reading something like that during those long years, when we all struggled to adjust to our new reality.

Five years into this new life, our mother was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, something that she did not fully comprehend because of her condition. Of course it was all too real for the rest of us, and, despite her continued resistance to the cancer, it eventually took her from us.

The ability to look back on a tragedy, a loss, a challenge of any sort and see through eyes that have healed, a heart that has been broken and patched up—this is the ability to grow and become a person who is shaped by the darkness.

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I found this post to be meaningful, heartfelt, and honest. I hope you find it as great as I did!

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com