It has now been a year since I lost Frank. It has been a year of peace and turbulence. Just when I felt I had a handle on things, emotions would rush in and overwhelm me. Looking at the ocean one day and watching the waves crash, I was reminded of the time a huge wave thrashed me to the point where I thought it was the end. I was about ten years old and at the beach with some friends. I had my back to the ocean. Not wise when the breaking waves are at their peak! I was wondering what my friend was shouting at me, for I couldn’t hear the words. When I realized she was pointing behind me, I turned but it was too late. I was like a rag doll tossed about; not knowing which direction was up or down. Then, to my relief, and totally exhausted, I found myself literally washed up on the beach, lying on the wet sand. How I got out of the water I have no idea. It was as if someone, or something, plucked me out of the turbulence and saved me. Was it an angel? I don’t know. There was no one around me and I knew my friends who were my age, had not been able to help me. I lay there for a long time, just getting my breath and thankful to be alive. It was not my time. God had plans for my life that I could not begin to imagine.

Sometimes when we find ourselves caught up in the turbulence, it’s easy to forget God’s merciful hand. We don’t grow when we are on the mountaintops, rejoicing at how good life is. We grow in the valleys, in the shadows that pass through our lives. We love the sunny days, but sigh when the clouds cover the sun and all around you seems gloomy. Yet, behind the clouds, the sun is still shining. The birds are still flying and the currents of the wind still move through the heavens. I have passed a milestone and feel like I’m going to be all right. I have the love of my family. I have good friends that have been there for me, and amidst the clouds, a window opens to let in the Sonlight.