Yesterday, December 15, was Tyler's 2nd birthday.
For those of you who missed it, 2 years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who had a heart that was medically (and I believe, metaphorically) too big for this world. He was kept on life support until it was all too much and five days into this world, he went to Heaven.
You can read the full post on the experience here.
In short, it was amazing. We had the best doctors and even better nurses, who I believe were sent and placed there for us for this event and time in our life--and for Tyler. These women were beautiful inside and out, strong, and compassionate and they helped me get through a time no mother should ever have to experience. I can never, ever express the depth of my gratitude and love for these women or for the UVA hospital--the doctors and staff who were there for us and for our baby. It was a sad time but also a time full of miracles and everywhere I looked, I saw the good.
Since then, I have tried to see that good every single day. It IS there, if you're looking. People are compassionate and giving and life IS exciting and rewarding. My renewed outlook on life centers around two truths: One is the fragility of life. We are not promised tomorrow. We have only today, only this life. And it's up to us to live it fully. To experience NOW. To never wait to say or do what it is we feel and what is important to us. I have had such a blast living that way and done some of the most exciting things I never thought I'd get to do--and I wouldn't have, if I'd continued to have an "I'll do it later" attitude.
One of the biggest so far is the start of my author coaching business, Phoenix, where I can help others do exactly what I've done and that is to create a career of freedom and full-time income doing what I love while still spending plenty of time with the people I love. Some others are: standing on stage at a Zac Brown Band concert to a sold out crowd, meeting Plain White Ts, owning and riding a motorcycle!, Visiting Colorado (on my bucket list) and seeing the mountains for the first time, vacationing in the Dominican Republic and sipping a margarita on a white sandy beach!, standing front and center at an Andy Grammer concert (his music inspires me to press on and achieve my dreams!), visiting New Orleans for the first time, travelling multiple times a year for pleasure, and SO MUCH MORE.
My point is this: do it now. Whatever "it" is--stop waiting. What if "that day" never comes and you die without doing "IT"???
The second thing I've become aware of and centered around is a collective connection we all share with one another. The entire world is a collective consciousness. Have you ever had a great idea that feels inspired by the Universe itself only to hear someone else has started or done something similar shortly after?
And I think it's awesome because it's a sign we're all connected. To a higher power and to each other. How cool is that??
In honor of seizing the day, our birthday present to Tyler was the gift of making someone else's life better or making their dream come true, through a Kiva loan.
You make a loan on Kiva. All Kiva loans are made possible by our Field Partners, who vet, administer, and disburse each loan. Throughout the life of the loan, you will see progress updates from Kiva through your email, and if you come back to the site.As the borrower repays the loan, the money becomes available in your account. This is called your Kiva Credit. You can now use it to fund another loan, donate it to Kiva, or withdraw it to spend on something else.
Who do you loan to?
There are hundreds of stories and potential borrowers listed on the site. This year, my kids and I chose someone from Senegal. A single mother who will use to money to buy fresh vegetables to resell in her local market. She will use the profits from her business to pay for her children's schooling.
Basically, this is awesome.
It helps someone else live a better life NOW and it connects us.
If you're looking for a way to honor someone or give back in any way, Kiva is it.
This entire week is a way for me to look back and remember those beautiful five days and be grateful for that time as well as all the time I get now to make my life the best it can possibly be. This is something I can do for Tyler and for myself, to honor him. And through it all, I've had unending support from my reader and author friends and I am SO grateful for every single one of you. I didn't set out to be an example or inspiration, but for those of you that have told me I am that for you, it warms me to know my story--Tyler's story--is able to help in making your life better and to connect us.
Happy Birthday, Tyler.