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The First Worst Day

he first worst day of my life happened at my favorite place in the world. A place where I have never lived and yet it is home. A lake where over the years many wonderful things have happened, and the saddest thing happened. On this day years ago we lost my older sister Mary. I was twelve. And on that day I learned: in the blink of an eye your life can be changed forever.

For decades now I have returned to this lake whenever I can. Being in the water has always felt like a hug, so loving you could let go and cry. So much of what I’ve learned about love and loss came from there. And all I ever wanted to know about light has been found there. And all I ever wanted to learn about sound was there somewhere too. Babies learned to walk, children learned to swim, engagements were announced, weddings brought us together, and the campfires always burned late into the night.

And over all these years while everything changes, the lake always remains constant, clear and blue. When the wind blows, the water responds with waves big and small - just as it always has. I hear Winwood sing "spirit is something that no one destroys" and I realize in spite of our deep loss the true gift of my lake is this reminder > the hope of everlasting love and connection.


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