A Gift of Gratitude For You-(Gift Inside)

 

So Thanksgiving is in just a few days, and what better time to warm our hearts with stories of gratitude than now.

I am over the moon excited to share with you our new e-book, A Gift of Gratitude, a community book project, just released on Amazon. A book of authors sharing their thoughts and experiences with matters of thankfulness.

With help from fantastic editor Donna Kozik, this book has become a fabulous melting pot of gold, offering appreciation, love, perspective, smiles and hope.  I am so honored to be a part.

As a special gift for all our loyal readers and supporters, A Gift of Gratitude is free all this week! So all you need to do is purchase it for free and it’s yours to download and read on whatever device you’d like.

Here is the Amazon link.    http://bit.ly/gratitude–book

Do you know someone who could use a little uplifting this holiday season?  Heartwarming and soul touching, this is the perfect gift! Did I mention this inspirational book also contains the favorite causes of all the authors? How cool!  I’m a big fan of philanthropy and always love hearing about how people give back to organizations dear to their heart.

unnamed (2)

What are you waiting for? Go get it while it’s still free and enjoy!

http://bit.ly/gratitude–book 

With that, I pray you all have a Thanksgiving filled love, family and friends. As you gather around the table or reflect on your own, may we all take a moment and remember everything we have to be grateful for.

On the journey with you,

Daphne

 

P.S. Stayed tuned next week for another special announcement!

Advertisements

Thanksgiving Blessings-Reflections From A Mom Who Lost, Yet Won

It was November 27, 2002 and the clock had just turned past midnight. After a rigorous 24 hours of labor and nearly missing an emergency C-section, early this Wednesday morning my beautiful daughter Lydia Marie was born, weighing 8lbs 2 oz. and covered in a full head of dark hair.  Heavily medicated and exhausted, I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  I had a baby.  A daughter.  My heart was bursting with a gigantic love, one I had only ever read about.  She would be named after my great-great grandmother, Lydia.  Parents and friends sat anxiously in the waiting room for hours, fighting sleepiness, unwilling to leave until they were able to meet our precious baby girl.  She had a wonderful entrance into this amazing world; loved, adored, and cherished by so many. Little did I know, she would be the one to teach me the most valuable of life’s lessons, and only be here a short while.

www.grievinggumdrops.com

The day after her birth was Thanksgiving Day, and with a little coaxing the doctor, we were able to bring her home for the first time. My dad drove my car, fighting a blanket of thick fog, as Lydia and I snuggled in the back seat. As I carried my beautiful girl to the front door, I realized this was no longer my home, but now ours. It was so full of love as we were welcomed by our family, grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, all eagerly awaiting our arrival. The amazing aromas of a delicious Thanksgiving dinner immediately overwhelmed me, and I was overtaken with the comfort and blessing of bringing my Lydia home.  Lydia was a tiny bundle of heartwarming love.  We passed her around like a little hot potato, each gawking at the awesomeness of new life.

 Everyone adored her, making me fight for time just to hold her that first weekend of her new life. She was so loved that no one wanted to give her up.  The first grandchild on my side of the family, spoiling her rotten was the only way, according to my mother.

When I looked in the mirror for the first time with my new title as “mom,” it revealed a transformed young woman, three years out of college, in the beginning of a career, learning how to navigate in this big world. In the midst of finding my way, this new life was suddenly handed to me.   I was unprepared, and unable to comprehend the immense gift I had just been given.  Lydia opened my heart to a new life, a new world I had never before imagined. What a fabulous day it was. The best day of my life.

www.grievinggumdrops.com

In 2008, Thanksgiving came rushing in, three months after she had passed away.  I must say, the last thing I felt like doing was gathering with a house full of people and I quickly grew to despise the word “happy,” and anyone who used it.  My heart was devastated and showed me excruciating pain I never knew possible.  For years, yes many years, I dreaded this day as I lived in a blanket of sadness and deep sorrow and looked with contempt towards others who were celebrating with delight.    

As the days and years progressed, slowly I began to evolve, hatching from my cocoon inviting sparks of hope into my life and soon, they out shadowed the darkness. I found myself smiling more, and counted the days in between the tears.  Progress was being made.  My faith was growing and glimmers of hope were blooming inside me.  I began to forego the judgmental self of previous days, learning to appreciate the struggles of others, understanding full well that each one of us is fighting a silent inner battle.  

 As our family gathers today, my heart reminds me that I would give anything to have all my children sitting around the table. Although she is not physically with us, she is with us in spirit. We talked, we laughed, we remembered her.  This year marked the 9th Thanksgiving without my girl.  Hard to believe it’s been that long. Time passes so quickly.  Yet, I soon was reminded that I am immensely blessed in life and grateful for His promise that I will see her again someday.

 www.grievinggumdrops.com

So, for all of you. Absolutely count your blessings.  Find something to be thankful each and every day. Serve others with love.  Life is so much better viewed through eyes of gratitude.  

Thanksgiving will always be a challenging time for me as I am flooded with years of memories of the precious time I had with my blonde haired blued eyed daughter, in which we celebrated her birthday as well.  Five years, eight months, and 16 days, she was mine and I was hers.  And nothing will ever change that.

 

When A Turkey Makes You Smile

Lately, I’ve been void of words, thus the absence of writing. My motivation declined as my scattered thoughts took root, all-consuming and coaxing me into replaying the memories from the “good old days,” over and over in my mind. You know the ones when you were a younger you, life was fabulous, your career was in full swing, you had a beautiful “intact” family and life was normal. Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. Good old days they were.

November is always a bittersweet month, especially near Thanksgiving. November 27, will always be the best day of my life. The day I became a mother for the first time to my precious Lydia.

After submerging myself into deep retrospect, the days slowly filled with loving memories as well as gut wrenching pain of the emptiness my heart contains. The dull ache continues to linger in the background, gently serving as a subtle reminder of the life the once was. And at times, the longing to have it back is so overpowering.

In these moments I am boldly and forever reminded that I am different now.

A grieving mother living simultaneously living in the past and the present. Stumbling and crawling, while gently putting one foot in front of each other just to get through each day.

And then, just when I need it the most, I am given a reminder of just how fortunate I am today, in this present life. An uplifting creation that my 10-year-old proudly gave to me after school, which couldn’t help but make me smile. With impeccable timing, I was given the perfect reminder of just how grateful I am for everything and everyone in my life.

www.grievinggumdrops.com

Through it all I am older, wiser, very broken but still incredible blessed.