280 Grief, Guilt, and Happiness

I must admit that I’ve been feeling grief the kind that sneaks up at the most inopportune moment arising from the feeling that I am still here get to live life and be happy

If you woke up today with the opportunity to add another page to the story of your life, then you owe it to yourself to create the most beautiful story you can imagine. Whatever that is. However that looks to you. Let the ink spill onto the blank page and fill the empty lines with the magic you thought was out there but was really inside you this whole time. Write a story of hope and redemption. Of strength and perseverance. Of falling apart and having the courage to pick up the broken pieces and put yourself back together again. Write how you intimately know grief and heartbreak because you had the courage to love with your whole heart, even when you had no guarantees that you’d receive the same love in return. Let the ink smear across the page from all the moments you laughed so hard that your tears left a permanent mark on the unwritten pages of your future. And let the pauses between words be quiet pauses of appreciation. Deep breaths and spiritual resets. Gratitude for a life fully lived. If you woke up today with the opportunity to add another page to the story of your life, then you owe it to yourself to write the story of how you lived it fully. Messy and afraid but hopeful and brave. Heart open. Vision clear. Always looking towards the sun.

Zanna Keithley
Looking Towards the Sun(set)

Okay before we get judgmental, I am still on Fakebook. That statement out of the way:

I saw the quote above and it struck me…

between the eyes

and right through my heart.

Three years and 26 days since Larry died

369 days since Bill and I were engaged

and 23 days until Bill and I celebrate our first anniversary of marriage



I must admit

that I’ve been feeling


the kind that sneaks up

at the most inopportune moment

arising from the feeling

that I am still here

get to live life

and be happy.

The kind of grief that

I find hard to share with anyone

because it comes in moments

when thoughts cross my mind

that Larry would have loved this


I wish I could tell Larry about this


when I am having a great deal of fun

and experiencing something new

and exciting…

For instance:

Two weeks ago Bill earned his Private Pilot License!

Congratulations Bill!

which led to

My Second Private Plane Ride

I will share that my first private plane ride at approximately eight years old with my family was not a grand experience -the air-sickness bags were by no means large enough!

Last week hubby talked me into going up

in the plane with him.

With a hospital-grade barf bag in tow

I was apprehensive,



in awe



and happy

all rolled up into one

very height-challenged package

who had a very difficult time

climbing up into the plane

if you can imagine a short

overweight girl

who has difficulty leading with her left leg

trying to do just that

while avoiding the Flaps

climbing on top of the wing

to crawl into the dollhouse size door

only to sit down (and I mean DOWN)

in what looked like

a cave full of buttons and gauges and pedals

– oh my

that would be me…

I would have been laughing my butt off

if I hadn’t been horrified at the thought

of someone (besides my husband)

seeing me literally crawling

on the wing of the plane

with my feet off the ground

so as not to damage the edge of the plane

-next time we’ll bring a little stool


The short ride up the coast of Lake Erie

was spectacular

I didn’t experience motion sickness

at all

Bill’s turns were graceful

I took great pictures


the landing was only a little bumpy

and I survived to tell this (true) tale!

But I have to admit

that even in the midst of the hilarity crawling in

the beauty during that ride

and the sheer fact that

the barf bag was never used

the thought crossed my mind

that Larry would’ve loved

seeing me conquer a fear

as I actually enjoyed my second flight

in a private plane.

Sunset Over the Water

You may believe that living life to the fullest is seeing every country in the world and quitting your job on a whim and falling recklessly in love, but it’s really just knowing how to be where your feet are. It’s learning how to take care of yourself, how to make a home within your own skin. It’s learning how to build a simple life you are proud of. A life most fully lived is not always composed of the things that rock you awake, but those that slowly assure you it’s okay to slow down. That you don’t always have to prove yourself. That you don’t need to fight forever, or constantly want more. That it’s okay for things to be just as they are. And when those big moments come, which they will, you’ll feel them in a way you couldn’t before. You’ll experience them in a way you didn’t before. You’ll appreciate them because you’ll be able to fully be in them. Little by little, you will begin to see that life can only grow outward in proportion to to how stable it is inward – that if the joy is not in the little things first, the big things don’t fully find us.

Brianna West

I feel every moment in my life

in a way I



and never have



the process of living in the present

with gratitude

makes it okay

to remember the past

with joy.

XO Lisa

14 comments on “280 Grief, Guilt, and Happiness

  1. I so love your post and honest share in real honest time Lisa. So beautiful and so full of wisdom taking life as it comes! It’s beautiful and sooo glad you didn’t need a barf bag.. YAY!
    Holding both the love of both husbands and the sharing is a gift.
    I so laughed at the visual!@!


  2. Lisa, your plane ride connects more of God’s galaxy of stars. His grace is never-ending. Your flight takes me back to my first flight in 1973 when some of my brothers accepted our Uncle Wes’ invitation to fly in a small plane. It was amazing to see the farmland of the San Joaquin valley in central California, but definitely not filled with the beauty of Lake Erie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Richard, it sounds like your first plane ride was much better than mine. I barely remember the farmland near Bucyrus, OH… but Lake Erie and the shoreline is spectacular from the air!


  3. Barb Huber

    I’m not Larry, but your descriptive account of getting in the plane had me lmao! I’m glad you conquered that fear and enjoyed the experience! I’m sure Larry was happy, too. I can see his face while he watched! Love you! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t tell you how much this post touched my heart, Lisa. It was simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart and Larry would be proud of you facing your fears up in the air. 🥰👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First, that entire intro was just unbelievably beautiful! I’m so glad you shared it. And, what a beautiful post!
    I can’t hardly believe it’s been over a year now since your wedding!!! My goodness, it seems likeit was just last month!
    My how the time has flown…a yet, you’ve lived it so well💕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Life is but a circle my friend and you continue to embrace joy and grief…much like your airplane ride!💛

    Liked by 1 person

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