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2013 Christmas gift from my dear friend, Abbie

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. -Frederick Buechner

Well, 2013, when Abbie and I declared at a local Houston coffee shop that you would be our year I had no idea all that you would hold. We welcomed you with great anticipation and joy. From the get it was “Hello 2013! You will be my year! I have no idea what that means, but I know you are going to be a good. You’ve got to be!”

As we sat there at the Doshi House I must say I had absolutely no idea that your days would include me meeting my life partner only a few weeks later, hosting my first art show or sharing in a number of conversations that would empower me not only to dream but act in that very same coffee shop.

There was no way I could have known within your 12-month frame I would experience the miracle of life being created within and learn what a privilege it is to bear life. In the same breath I must say there was no way in hell I could have known that within the same 12-month frame I would also know the tragic sting of death like never before, as I would hold my baby upon my chest as she breathed her first and last breaths on December 4. Oh how I love and am thankful to have been the vessel that had the joy of bearing Baby Annee Juredline. She is one the greatest gift I have ever been given next to life itself and the love her father and I share. I am broken.

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Abbie placed within the locket a photo of Annee resting upon the hand of Cleve

Seriously 2013, if someone had told me in that January moment with Abbie that before I wave goodbye to you tonight that I would be engaged to the man whom my soul has been waiting to love for years… I would have laughed in their face while secretly hoping it might be true.

Our first Christmas! Nashville, TN

Our first Christmas!
Nashville, TN

2013, you have definitely been one of the most memorable, life-giving, freeing and empowering years of my life. I wish I could say I am glad to see you go, but for some strange reason there is part of me that grieves your passing.

But as quickly as I needed to say “Hello” to you with great hope and anticipation, it appears I am needing to wave “Goodbye.” Know I will carry into 2014 all I have received, learned and discovered along the journey with you.

Know I am thankful.

The journey has truly awakened and blessed my soul, as my path has merged with one of the three best gifts I received this year, Cleve V. Tinsley IV. I am looking forward to 2014 days of living in grace as we nurture a union that will last.

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Christmas evening Cleve asked me if I would share life with him forever at the home of my sister & brother-in-love.
Without hesitation I said “YES!” as he placed on my finger a ring composed of a lovely diamond surrounded by the December birthstone to honor Annee and our love for each other only made stronger by her existence in our lives.

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