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A moment of reflection.

Gearing up for last summer, I knew transition would be a major element of the experience. I was transitioning out of school into a full time job. For the first time in my life, I was walking a high rope with no safety net. Did I even know what I was doing? It was challenging, but it was the only challenge I expected.

The heart-swelling pain of saying goodbye to close friends was inescapable. What I didn’t know at the beginning and couldn’t have prepared for was saying goodbye to my two best friends. I had thought they would be around for a couple years. Life is not always so kind.

There were other unexpected goodbyes and near-goodbyes that summer. Three major car accidents in one month, two of them fatal, plus Gary’s constantly precarious situation, pushed me to the limits. I was forced to let go of loved ones, close friends, fond memories. I was forced to cherish those who I was allowed to keep. I don’t like being forced into things.

Then all hell broke loose on all of us. Broken hearts, shattered dreams, unshakable doubts: we knew them all; we knew them all too well. Yet out of all that death, demise and decay, seeds of new life began to grow.

A year passed.

Life is now in full bloom.

Sara and I are engaged. I get to keep my best friend for the rest of my life. Whereas I had lost so many friends to goodbyes, I now have one whom I will never have to leave. There will be no airport, no funeral, no graduation. She is with me, and I with her for the rest of our lives.

The house has become a home. Our strong love and devotion to each other is strong. Through hardships and sorrows, laughter and joy, we share life together. It’s a persistent reminder that you’re not alone. It’s impossible to ignore. We move into the new house today. We are family now.

Out of the ashes springs new life.