The world is in a state of perpetual transformation. Collectively and individually we are constantly evolving as we transition each phase of our lives. We are never more cognizant of this reality than during the holiday season. During this quite time of reflection and repose we inventory our deeds and accomplishments and too often we hyper- analyze our shortcomings. As you mark the closing of another year and begin your transition to a new year, come along with me as I share with you my journey of transition and transformation.

The late seventies brought a marriage and two little miracles into my life. In the span of two and a half years I became a mom to two daughters. My oldest born at Easter. There were some nail-biting moments when I was diagnosed with toxemia eclampsia but following seventy-two hours of labor my daughter Deliah (Dee) arrived safe and sound and she was my first perfect little miracle. Two years later my second little miracle was born. Olivia (Dolly) was a Christmas baby. I had a mid-wife and I planned to have her at home but a late night abruptio placentae resulted in a mad dash to the emergency room and ten minutes after arriving the nurse placed her in a little red stocking and handed her to me. She was my most treasured and memorable Christmas gift.

Happiness Beyond Grief Becoming a mother is my greatest transformation. My children give my life purpose. From the moment of their birth they become my future and my very reason to exist. I could clearly see my life raising them to be compassionate and responsible. I could see them grow into productive citizens who championed for the underdog. I could see the day they graduated college and their wedding day. I could see holding my grandchildren and spoiling them rotten. Yes motherhood was a transformation that defined me. Little did I know the transformation that awaited me.

Mother’s day weekend 1984 my life would change so drastically that I would ask myself, “who am I now?” A drunk driver took my family and that tragic event transformed me and my life in ways that I could never have imagined. Following the loss I had no idea what to do with myself. I was so lost. My reason was gone or so I was convinced. I wanted answers. “Why me?” I asked. Although I never received a direct answer to my questions, life kept moving forward. The world continued and little by little I began to transition from grief and a different life began to manifest before me.

Over the years I hosted grief support groups. I kept a journal which would eventually become my first book. A decade passed and I met and married a wonderful man who is the romantic love of my life. Through him I have three children and now we are enjoying grandchildren.

There is also an interesting caveat to my transformational journey. In 1980 I had a friend Francis, she and her husband had been married for sixteen years and they could not have a child of their own. They had been on an adoption waiting list so long that they were told they were too old to be approved for adoption. My friend was heartbroken. I offered to be her surrogate and carry a baby for them. They agreed and in January 1981 I became the surrogate mother to Abbra, my third perfect little miracle. In 2004 Francis passed away following a long battle with cancer and she blessed me with a daughter who has given my life renewed purpose.

My sisters, life is in a perpetual state of transition. Change is inevitable. That young mother who lost her children and grieved the loss for years, never dreamed she would one day hold the hands of other grieving parents and console them. She never knew she would become a mentor to coaches, aspiring authors and speakers. She would have never dreamed that she would one day be a bestselling author and inspirational speaker or that her voice would one day be heard by women around the world. This was not her life vision. She would not and perhaps could not imagine a different life.

During your holiday repose before you hyper- analyze your shortcomings I ask that you pause in gratitude for the transformation that awaits you. I look at fifty in the rearview mirror and I can honestly say while in my twenties I often doubted I could go on. Now in my fifties I see a lifetime of possibilities. It was not the life I had imagined all those years ago but “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

The Holiday Planner
Holidays can be pure torture to anyone who is grieving. This form will help you identify potential stressors and create ways to help you meet the emotional challenges that can manifest during holidays. Click here to find out more.