Life in 56: Discovering Life in 8 Weeks

All week my 3-year old daughter has been asking me “Mommy, why are you crying?” I just keep reassuring her that they are happy tears…happy tears because of Aunt Kooky. I told her that one day she will understand.

  We always joke about how my baby sister, Courtney, came out screaming and never looked back. She has    always blamed in on the Castor Oil my Mom took to speed up labor, but we know it is just her personality.  She has always been one of those people who you love so much you would do anything for, but she could also make you crazy like you wouldn’t believe.

It is one of the many things that makes her so special.

Our Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when Court was 3, and she died when she was 15. As you can read in her letter to Mom on the 12th anniversary of her death, it has had an indescribable impact on her life.

Since I am 7 years older than Court, after our Mom died I have always thought that I should be playing a motherly role in her life.  I always felt the worry of a mother, but had a hard time getting past the friendship we shared as sisters.  As a result, I have felt an enormous amount of guilt for the past 12 years. The feeling that I haven’t done enough – whatever it is a mother should do when the one she loves is hurting  and self-destruction is her defense mechanism.

Court has had some rough years, especially the past 10, which she does not hide. She briefly touched on it in the first post she wrote for this blog. She also has an amazing gift and everything she writes (even her posts about hair) make you want to read more. Her two posts for my blog are by far, the most popular, and I have been begging her to write more – mainly because I am always inspired by her writing and I know others are, too.

I have always felt strongly that when you let go of fear and follow your heart and your passion, things will fall into place for you. If you love yourself unconditionally and know you deserve great things, positive things will happen.

For years, I have also known that when Court was ready, amazing things were in store for her. I am happy (and relieved) to report that the time has come and it has left me completely emotional – in an inspired, happy kind of way.

I’m so excited that she has decided to share her life, her passion for helping others, and her positive life changes through writing. Our Dad is joining her on this amazing journey and they have invited us all along to share in the experience. It is an inspirational journey you won’t want to miss.

Life in 56: Discovering Life in 8 Weeks

From her blog –

The goal for Life in 56 is simple. Take 8 weeks/56 days to try new things and see where those new things lead us. Maybe it will lead us right back to where we are, but hopefully it will lead somewhere we had never considered. I have decided to put an emphasis on a different aspect of life during each week. The categories are Health, Movies, Music, Sports, Art, Dance, Books, and Faith. The only guideline for each category is to do something challenging for yourself and something helpful for someone else.

Today is the start of day 4 and amazing things are already happening and things are falling into place.  

By day one she had done a complete overhaul of the kitchen and food that she and our Dad would be eating. She was up at 5am to make breakfast, pack my Dad’s lunch, and make sure he survived his first morning without coffee. She also inspired us with her story about the first step.

By day two she contacted the  Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF), an organization that provides housing and counseling to homeless veterans struggling with substance abuse,  to see if she could come in to share some small changes she has made and see if it could possibly help them, as well.

By 9am on day three, she faced her fear of public speaking and stood in front of 30 men at HVAF to share about her past, the small positive changes she has made, and her goal with Life in 56.  The response she got was more than I could handle – you must read it!

By 8pm on day three, she was back at the HVAF to attend a volunteer orientation program to help lead a running program. She and my dad will be spending Monday mornings, beginning at 5:45am, running with men from the program. I can’t wait to read what she writes about it and learn more about the program!

These are a few of the reasons I have been shedding so many happy tears this week. The amount of love, inspiration, pride and relief I am experiencing is hard to describe. I have a feeling that there will be many more tears to come in the next 52 days and probably longer than that.

Family means the world to me. We always joke about how we have an unusually close-knit family. And after Mom passed away, we just became closer.  Dad is our rock and I can’t imagine not having my sisters in my life.   They are the reason why we tried for baby #4. I  wanted to give my daughter the chance to have the same experience as I had growing up and continue to have as an adult.  My plan worked :)  and in February 2013 (unless the ultrasound was wrong!) I will be raising sisters and truly hope they share the same bond as we do.

After my last crying spell, my daughter said, “Look Mommy, my eyes are wet, too. I’m crying happy tears because I love you and the baby so much!”.

Maybe I underestimated how long it would take for a 3-year-old to understand the love that goes along with having a sister.

Hope you join in the journey!