It was a hard year and my best year too. A manic year really. My highest high and my lowest low came simultaneously. As one life was entering –another was slipping away, and I did a balancing act that would rival Philippe Petit, while helping others not fall off their rope. Take my hand. Take my hand. Take my hand.
I felt completely alone, battling demons that were taking away the love of my life—the air in my lungs. And suddenly 30 or so of my best friends and family surrounded me, lifted me up and supported me through the following months, so I could help the people that needed me.
Then my light arrived. My little love arrived with healing powers, the likes of which are for fairytales only—not real life. Certainly not my life.
He arrived in the spring, bringing hope, like all new things in spring. A ray of light, a purpose, a cause to keep not just me moving forward but others too. More than a few of us needed him. I cried tears of joy and then set out to do the impossible—and did it with the help of my friends.
It’s always like this—every year, losses and gains. People pass away, babies are born. It’s the way of the world. But this year was different. It was a massive rescue mission, headed by old friends—some of whom are Marine Moms, others who have known me 40+ years and others who have known me fewer years, but immediately understood the urgency—the life or death of everything.
The best was going to Europe to meet my grandson thanks to my friends—and then having he and his mom stay with me for almost 3 months. No- wait. The best was my son coming back from the edge. Or maybe it was all of us together for the best Thanksgiving ever. Or maybe it was realizing what amazing friends and family I have. It’s hard to say what part of wonderful is the most wonderful.
I can say this, I am grateful.
Because I am so grateful, I plan on spending 2016 raising awareness for what I have deemed the crime of the century. PTS. Post-Traumatic Stress—specifically combat related. And Veteran Suicide as a direct result of PTS and other injuries. If you follow me on Facebook you’ll see many posts from me regarding missing veterans, at risk veterans, homeless veterans, and their families and caretakers who suffer secondary PTS due to living in crisis mode 24/7.
I learned first hand in this last year that emotional support for families of veterans is crucial. I want all the families to be able to ask for help if they need it. Doing this alone should not even be an option.
Veteran issues are not and should never be viewed as political. We have an all-volunteer military from all walks of life, who have risked life and limb and a variety of illnesses, so we—civilians, didn’t have to go to war. We owe them. So, no matter what side of the political fence you are on—I hope you have an interest in helping me help them. If you can help spread needed information, and resources for vets and families—I will be forever grateful to you.
May the New Year bring us peace around the world. A lofty wish, I know. But if enough people really want that- it will happen. I learned this year—you can change the tide; you just need the right people to help you.
Below are some helpful links if you are in need of help.