That I am precious: When you are suddenly thrust into the role of being the sole provider for your children, you realize what a commodity you are. As mothers, we have a tendency to push our needs down below, to not take the time to fill our cup as we go, to continually pour until we are depleted. Losing my husband just two weeks after the SIDS death of our third child left me completely shattered mentally. My first job became healing myself. I knew if I was going to get back to being able to be Addy and Lane’s mom, I would need to prioritize myself. It was a process of self-care and discovery that I am not sure I would have ever experienced outside of being a single parent. The inherent understanding that what made my life worth living was the intrinsic value found within myself.

That time is your most limited resource: At 28, I had the unique experience of having lost my mother, my husband, and a child. If the deaths of your immediate family do not teach you to value your time, I’m not sure what will. I would like to think that the wisdom I’ve gained in their deaths allows me a unique perspective and a certain lease on life that many do not have until much later. I have no time to follow other’s timelines on grief, joy or anything else that comes my way. I instead choose to use my time exactly how I see fit, refilling my own cup, filling up my children’s cup, and on my new love that has come into my life.

That the meaning of life is found within contentment and love of yourself. I sought, and still continue, to seek a purpose to their deaths. A reason, any reason for this to happen to me. It can be an extremely heavy load, to carry the weight of giving death purpose. The fact is, that everyone dies eventually and loss happens to us all. We are not given value based on our loss or wins, on our building, or tearing down. Our value is found within, it is our job to uncover it and seek contentment first within – before going into what life has to offer and seeking contentment there.