I remember writing my holiday post last year and being so full of hope. Fully convinced that Lance was beating his diagnosis and having no insight that a year from now, I would be sending holiday wishes minus one very important being in our lives.

December 8th was 6 months since Lance passed. 6 months! It was a milestone that hurt to my core, made my heartache and made me cry for the majority of the day. However, as with all anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays I’ve experienced so far, I came out the other side still thankful for all that I still have.

One thing I have realized throughout these past 6 months is I have never lost that hope. I am still full of hope for my future, my kids future, and for our lives. And I am grateful. I may not be grateful for Lance dying but I am grateful for how he died. I am grateful that he didn’t suffer and I am grateful for the support I have had throughout and since his death. For the way my kids and I can talk about Lance on a daily basis with a laugh, a smile, a tear.

Lance resides not in physical form but in our hearts. That is something I focus on during my hard days and it reassures me in a way that nothing else can. After a solid 6 months of walking around in shock that Lance was gone, every morning, thinking “Really Lance? Did you have to go? Are you really gone?” I have turned a corner of accepting that this is true and that my kids and my life continues. He is with us always…sometimes in actually forms (a hawk) and ALWAYS in our hearts. This has been my greatest lesson of 2012.

I can say without a single doubt, I am ready to say goodbye to this past year. I have felt this need to get this year behind me but a part of me is exploding with things I want to share. I’m ready for what the future holds, to be grateful for every day, to continue to share my story, my lessons, to grow and be open to whatever is in store for me.

Even through all this, I’ve never lost the feeling that there is still magic to life. This isn’t what I would have wished for myself or my children but this is our lives nonetheless. I was reading a book called Dream New Dreams recently. The author who also lost her husband at a young age said she learned “not to look at today through the lens of yesterday, which made the promise of tomorrow all the more magical.” Amen.

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I was hiking with two close friends last weekend and I took this picture. I felt like I was that mountain peaking out from the mist. Getting my head out of the clouds so to speak. I hope it continues to emerge.

So with a renewed sense of hope for what the future holds and gratitude for all the love I have in my life, I wish you a loving, tender, peaceful new year.