Posted by: mesabimisadventures | November 25, 2010

Only in the Darkness

2010 was an odd year for me.  Lots of happiness but lots of sorrow too.  The deep losses of becoming estranged from my father after he boycotted my wedding because it was on a Sunday and losing my step-dad when he left our family for another one were in sharp contrast to the joys of (finally) getting married and gaining a new, welcoming, loving family. 

My heart had a hard time letting go of the losses and I’ve struggled with forgiveness.  It was a challenge for me to celebrate all of the wonderful things in my life while being faced with grief for relationships that were now extinct. 

And then I saw the sign, not “a” sign, but the sign.  “Only in the darkness can you see the stars,” it read.  I don’t remember what church billboard it was on, only that it was on the top of a rolling hill in Beckley, West Virginia.  The phrase rattled around in my brain the whole day while hiking through the New River Gorge National Park and it’s bounced around since then.

I was in the darkness, but wasn’t doing a very good job of seeing the stars.  The trip changed that.  And me. 

Maybe it was the crisp mountain air, the sweeping vistas, the incredibly kind people I encountered everywhere.  Maybe it was being on my own, navigating through the countryside, hiking up neverending hills.  I began to see the stars.

And once I began to see the stars, the darkness went away.

Thanksgiving is every day for those of us who’ve escaped from the darkness.  This Thanksgiving, I’d like to share my gratitude for the stars in my life.

I’m thankful to be here at all.  The only thing worse than getting old is not getting the opportunity to do so.  I’m healthy, mobile and get to choose my path everyday.  I have my freedom and the ability to use it.

With that freedom, I was able to choose my incredible husband to share my life.  He’s supportive of my dreams, wishes and he whips up excellent breakfasts for me on weekend mornings.  He doesn’t understand me, but seems okay with that.  He’s spontaneous – I think the 6-week engagement proved that!  It’s not a match that makes sense to most people, but I can’t imagine it any other way.

During our wedding preparations, the wedding itself and the parties (yes, plural) that followed, it was reaffirmed that my family and friends are amazing and they really do love me (and Matt!).  My mom pulled together all of the decorations and food in six short weeks and never once acted like a you-know-what.  She did it with grace and enthusiasm and still managed to look incredible while walking me down the aisle.  My brother, sis-in-law, and nieces came up the night before the wedding and saved our butts by helping out the morning of the wedding with everything.  My in-laws threw a wonderful party for us with incredible food and lots of laughter and then helped out with the party for my family a month later.  My friends helped out with our wedding by acting as our officiant (and hairstylist!), musician, reader of readings, matron-of-honor, best man, butterfly transporter, truck and pavilion decorators and the list goes on and on.  In the chaos of the day, I didn’t see it all, but after the insanity died down and I looked through the photographs, I saw all of their smiles and how they jumped right in and lent a hand and all I felt was love.

I’m a lucky person.  I see that now.  Other than awesome family and friends, I’m blessed to have a job that I love.  When the alarm goes off, I don’t dread going to work.  I look forward to it and I love being on the frontlines where I’m making a difference, even if it’s only a small one.  I have fun, encouraging, caring coworkers and enough challenges to keep my brain always busy.  Other than family and friends and a rockin’ job, I have so so so much but the floofy snow is beckoning me, so I must wrap this up.

It shouldn’t have taken the darkness for me to see the stars.  It did though and once I saw all the stars, the light was blinding.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Thank you for being my stars 🙂



  1. You can only see the stars when you are looking up. And I’m glad to hear that you are looking up. I’m not in the pits, but sometimes I think I’m looking at my shoes too often.

  2. […] November, I wrote about my struggle to climb out of a little hole I had fallen into during 2010 courtesy of a few […]

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