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The Fight

A little over a week ago, I walked a woman through CPR. She was a nurse. I stayed on the phone with her, counting compressions until first responders got on scene and took over. She knew that her husband was dead. He was stiff. Cold. But yet, I knew that she needed to fight and do something.


A year ago, a little boy passed away. He died a hero several days after he was shot at school. When the events of that day unfolded, many people felt helpless. Many of my coworkers answering the phones and monitoring the radios felt helpless because they were not there on scene fighting back. And yet they fought.

With everything they had, they fought, because that is what we are trained to do.

Nobody ever warned me how difficult dispatching would be. Nobody told me the struggles of answering the phone and assisting caller after call.

You fight with all your effort to save that one life and  it gets passed off to the responders on scene. You hang up the phone and it starts ringing once again. It never stops.

And in those moments, you have to fight.

I struggle some days. I’ve gotten frustrated with the little ole ladies who call in every time that the wind blows or the shadows move. I’ve gotten an attitude over the radio when a medic asks for the house number after we’ve already given it three times before. I’ve yelled at callers who refuse to listen or answer questions, refusing to tell me where they are.

There are mornings when I get back to my apartment and I question every decision that I made throughout the night. I lay awake in bed and listen back to their voices, trying to find what I may have missed.

When I first started working in dispatch, I was told that everyone that worked there was medicated. If it wasn’t a prescription, it was self-medication. I was told that if I wanted to survive in this field of work, I needed to find my medications.

They laughed when they heard that I didn’t drink alcohol or take any medication. I was told that it wouldn’t last that long.

And yet, still I fight.

I have an amazing group of guys from my community group that I meet up with every week, where we dive into each others lives. We seek out God together and are learning to fight for one another. To stand shoulder to shoulder through difficulties and struggles.

But many times it is hard to tell them about the battles that I face each night. How do you tell someone that you are struggling when you can’t find the words the describe it to yourself? What words could be used to express the feelings of helplessness and despair that creep in as questions and second thoughts?

While it would be easy to hide behind the silence or glance over the struggle with vague deflections, I have discovered over the years that it is better to face what is stirring in your heart and fight to bring it to light.

Years ago, after I found myself returning from the devastation in Joplin, I didn’t know how to process what I saw when I responded with my team from AmeriCorps NCCC. I didn’t know how to talk about all the things I saw and the stories I experienced.

It took me years to comprehend everything, but I learned that no matter what, I had to fight.

The fight may not be something you notice. It may just be the feeling that you can no longer sit still and do nothing. It may be an urgency that fills your thoughts or a struggle that consumes you.

For me, it is the darkness that threatens to overtake me when I believe that I am not good enough. It is the fear that I missed something or didn’t do everything that I could. My fight is the questions that creep in, guiding me away from who I know that I am.

When I returned to the Denver campus after seeing the debris field of Joplin stretch across the horizon, one of the staff members gave me the chance to learn to fight. As I started questioning if there was more that I could have done, she rephrased the question and asked me what I had done and if I had done that to the best of my abilities.

I learned that there are some things out of my control. I can do everything that I am supposed to do and ensure that I do everything correctly, but things may still happen. And as long as I know I did everything I could to the best of my ability, there are some things I needed to let go.

I still second guess myself. There are times when I wonder if I could have done more. But I know that I fight every day to be my best, to trust in my training and my experiences.

And I fight because sometimes, that is the only thing that keeps me from being consumed by the darkness.


The Struggle of Writing

I haven’t written for a while because writing has become difficult. I sit here staring at the blank screen and so many words pass by, but so few have been captured by the key strokes or the pen.

It has become a challenge because every night that I go into work, I sit and I type away trying to capture the worst moments of peoples lives. I listen to their fears and as they cry and plead for hope, it is my job to document. To type. To write. To gather information and make sure it gets passed on.

What is the location of your emergency? What is your phone number? What is your name? Can you tell me exactly what has happened? Are there any weapons involved? Do you need medical attention? Are there any drugs or alcohol involved? Which direction did they go? Can I get a description of that individual? The vehicle?

These are the questions that echo onto the page every time I try to write.

I am haunted by the stories that I hear every night. It’s the voices that I cannot escape, even after a week away from the headset.

And yet, here I am writing. It is a struggle to form the words that I type. It is difficult, but we persevere.

Today, I made a conscience choice to write. To choose to use words. To express a struggle. Instead of keeping it hidden in my thoughts.

And honestly, that’s all that I can do at this point. Sometimes that’s all that we can do, put one step in front of the other and make the conscience choice to move forward.

Defeat is No Longer an Option

We’ve all lost battles. I’ve suffered defeats. Sometimes, it feels like no matter what we do, we never win. I’ve walked (and ran) away from so many things in life. I’ve given up on countless people and turned my back on opportunities without giving them a chance to flourish.

We learn to live with the shame of defeat. Society tells us to submit, so we don’t put up a fight, even when we know in our hearts that we should fight. We compromise our values and our beliefs. We step back and let others rise because we feel that we could never be that artistic, articulate, or knowledgeable.

I learned that it was easier to accept defeat than to face my fears and persevere. It was easier to walk away. To let go. To step aside. To fail. To sin and ask for forgiveness.

There is something humbling about admitting defeat. But there is power in standing up to the fight.

Late at night, I end to blast my music while working on sketches and drawings. And I heard a line in a song that made me pause. In the song Destroy by Worth Dying For, there is a line that states “Defeat is no longer an option.” I heard those words and I thought to myself, if I truly believed that God has already achieved victory through the death of his Son on the cross, why doesn’t my life reflect what I believe?

Victory. It is more than a simple word. It is the belief that God has achieved something we could never accomplish ourselves.

There is a freedom in victory. Freedom from fear. Freedom from mistakes. Freedom from second guessing ourselves. From failure. From defeat.

I feel that so many times we see how many times we have been defeated and broken by the world that we turn to our faith and feel the same way. We question if we could really love our coworkers and neighbors that surround us. We compare ourselves to others and see how ‘blessed’ they are and struggle with accepting who we are in Jesus. We are reminded of how many times we have come up short and question if we could ever overcome the sin in our lives.

And that is where we discover that victory has already been achieved.

Our faith reveals to us the love of our Father, poured out through the sacrifice of His Son of the cross, has already given us victory. God has given us His Spirit who lives in each of us, pouring out His love into our lives so that we may also love unconditionally. This is the love that reminds each of us that we have been accepted by God, not by something that we have done, but because of who He is. This is the love of forgiveness, that has washed us clean of our sins. Not just the sins of our past, but the sins that have yet to come.

This is the victory that brings us freedom. The freedom to love unconditionally. To love those around us, as well as ourselves. The freedom to accept grace that is offered to us. The freedom to forgive. The freedom over temptation. Freedom from sin. From death. From not knowing our identity.

The victory that allowed us to be in a right relationship with our Father.

The beautiful thing about this victory is that there is nothing we are able to do. It is already won. The battle has already been fought. And victory has already been achieved.

The choice we have is not whether or not we will fight. But will we stand in victory or turn our backs to the grace that has been offered to us.

And once we learn to stand in our Faith, the battles we seem to face in our every day lives fade away into the background. And the defeats our world and society throw in our direction wont affect us, because we know who we are in Christ.

The One Regret

I got to do some amazing and beautiful things in my four years of AmeriCorps. I had the opportunity to serve my community, to respond to disasters when they happened. I got to remove debris from peoples yards, helping to begin the process of rebuilding communities ripped apart by the fury of nature. I got to serve alongside survivors and listen to their stories. I got to lead a team of young adults as they discovered how to change lives through service. I was able to travel across the country serving, digging fireline, building trails, removing hazard trees, and felling invasive species.

I got the opportunity to do all of this, and so much more. And in those four years of service, I only have a single regret.

It wasn’t something that I did, but rather something I didn’t do.

Each year, the St Louis Emergency Response Team (ERT) would make two trips up to Montana to serve alongside the USFS in and around the Beaverhead-Deerhead National Forest. It was a long three day drive as we made the journey out packed into several trucks loaded down with gear. It was on one of these long days driving across the stretch of interstate that I recently looked back upon and felt ashamed of something I didn’t do.

At the beginning of my second year with the St Louis ERT, which happened to be my fourth and last year serving with AmeriCorps, I found myself in one of the pick up trucks with four other teammates. One of them I knew after we served together the previous year and the other three were teammates that I had just met.

We were riding in Blue Hulk (yes, our trucks were named, along with our chainsaws and various other equipment) near the back of the procession of vehicles as we made our way through one of the Dakotas (I believe we were in South Dakota at the time) when we happened to pass a serious wreck. By the looks of it, a driver had crossed the median and oncoming lanes, went up the embankment underneath an overpass and wedged themselves underneath the bridge. Several other vehicles that were not traveling with our group had already pulled off to assist, but first responders had not arrived on the scene.

And there I was driving past it.

Even after two of my teammates asked if we should pull over, I didn’t stop.

And to this day, I regret that decision.

One of those teammates was an EMT. Two others were certified first responders. We had all taken first aid classes. We could have helped. But I didn’t. I kept on driving.

Several minutes later, we saw the ambulance speeding past in the opposite direction towards the wreckage. And that was the moment that I began to regret my decision.

After my time responding to the Joplin tornado three years earlier, I struggled with the thought that there was so much more I could have done. Due to policy, my team was pulled off that disaster response 13 days after we arrived. I struggled with knowing that people still needed our help. There was still something more that we could have done there. I was angry because instead of serving where the immediate need was, we found ourselves heading down to Houston, TX to help out at a youth camp.

At the time, I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t know how to express the frustration that consumed me. Yet, after several meetings with campus staff and teammates, I found myself at peace with it. While I was there, we had done everything we could to help. I had done my best, and there was nothing to be personally ashamed of.

And as I watched the ambulance fade into the mirror, and I saw the disappointment on the faces of my teammates, I knew that I could have done more. We could have done more. Made a difference.

It’s been over two years since those events on the interstate took place. And that moment stands out. Out of the four years that I served in AmeriCorps, that decision is the only one that I look back on and regret. Out of all my travels and adventures that make up my journey, that decision is still the only one I regret, because I didn’t do what my heart knew was the right thing to do.

Looking back on that moment seems like forever ago. How much has changed since then?

Why are you sharing these words? I hear you asking.

I’m sharing them because I have never put them into words. In the years of serving and writing, I never shared them, and I knew I had to. I have to live with that decision and it is a constant reminder that I never want to feel that way ever again.

I now work in realm of the first responder. I answer 911 phone calls every night that I work. I dispatch law enforcement, emergency medical, and fire personnel to calls day in and day out. And I never want to feel that shame of regret ever again. So I do the best that I can. I continue to serve to the best of my abilities.

And when I think about giving up, taking that easy path, I see that ambulance in the rear view window again. I take a breath. And I give it my all.

Struggle To Make Words Go

I used to love writing. I looked forwards to it because it allowed me to discover the language of words. It was another form of expression when painting and drawing didn’t work out as planned.

I used to enjoy putting words down on the page and share my story.

In a way, I still love and enjoy writing, but so much has changed.

Over a year ago I started working as a Telecommunicator. I am a 911 operator and a dispatcher. For 12 hours at a time, I sit in front of six computer screens and follow the stories of peoples worst days. I put on the headset and listen to their voices and the cries for help. And I document what information I can gather.

I write down their stories in every call. And in my head, I continue to write long after I leave the communications center.

Writing has changed for me. Stories have changed me. But the words must be put down.

So, when I return home, it is a struggle to continue writing. But sometimes we must press on. There are stories that must be told. Stories that must be shared with the world. And while it has become a struggle to find words at times, I continue to push through to put words onto the page.

When Heroes Don’t Wear Capes

Last week, our world was rocked by yet another shooting at a school. It hit closer to home for me because Townville Elementary School sits within the protected borders of Anderson County. For the past year, I have listened to the cries of this community. And I have sent out men and women to respond to these every-day disasters.

I wasn’t wearing a headset when the call came in. I wasn’t the voice over the radio guiding responding units towards danger. I didn’t even know it was happening until several hours later, when I received the alert, asking for any available dispatcher to come in early or work extra to provide the support that was needed to handle the situation.

I was already planning on coming in early to relieve a coworker so that they could make it to a funeral. When I arrived to the communications center, I didn’t find panic. I didn’t walk into tears or crying. I didn’t find a group of people who had been broken by the day’s events. What I discovered was a purifying fire of unspoken anger and anguish that drove people to be the best that they could be.

It was a rage that simmered. A nervous energy of concerned voices and precise movements.

The tears had already been shed, and burned away.

It was nerve wracking. It was painful. And it was beautiful in a very dark way.

Over this past weekend, one of the little boys that was shot, Jacob Hall, passed away. Later today, he will be laid to rest. He is to be buried in his Batman costume. Forever remembered as the superhero he dreamed he could be. The hero he has become.

His family has requested that everyone attending the funeral dress as a superhero. They have asked the community to wear a costume (or a superhero t-shirt) as a sign of support. Not just for him, but for the community.

Today, there will be superheroes surrounding us.

We will embrace the strength of these legends and learn how to follow the examples that they have set through their actions.

Batman once stated that the mask was to protect the ones he love. But I know so many heroes that will never wear a mask.

These are the heroes that wear a badge and a gun. These are the heroes that rush into burning buildings and face down the flames. These are the heroes whose hands reach out to heal and fight for life. These are the heroes that ride into battle lights flashing and sirens screaming into the night.

These are the everyday heroes who are part of the community. These are our neighbors. Our brothers and sisters. Family and friends.

Some of them are never seen, only their voices are heard in the darkness.

Are they perfect? No. They are human. Just like you and me.

We all strive to be superheroes. But most of us will never get the chance to wear a cape.

So, today, before your go out into the world, put on your superhero shirt and embrace the fact that no matter what happens, we all have the capability to stand together as heroes. Wear it to support a child. A community in need.

Wear it to remind yourself who you are capable of being.

And be the hero you were meant to be.

Redefining the Knights and Princess’ of Our Youth

As children, most young boys are fascinated by the knight in shining armor who faces a fate worse than death in the attempt to rescue the princess. It’s a dream of dragons and castles, magic and myth.  Some may call it childish, but deep down in our hearts, we all yearn for a princess to rescue, dragons to slay, and a life of adventure. We are all yearning for a quest.

My Patron Saint, the individual that I hope my life reflects, is Saint George, the Red Cross Knight.  According to legend, this wandering warrior comes across a land plagued by a dragon with flaming breath, razor sharp claws and a spiked tail.  Each year a maiden must be sacrificed to it, chosen at random.  This time, it is the princess that has been chosen as it’s next victim.  For three days, he battles this beast, his sword wounding but never killing.  Each night he falls exhausted to the ground, but rises each day to continue the fight.  On the third day, his sword finds true and strikes the killing blow.

He wins the girl, and they live happily ever after.  Or so we want to believe.

Society has given us a picture perfect example of what we should expect in our princesses.  Beautiful. Helpless. Waiting to be rescued.

It’s hard to find a princess like that. Now days, our princesses are no longer helpless. They wield bows and arrows, stand on the front line of battle, and are willing to risk everything in a fight. Our princesses are more like Joan of Arc, decked out for war.

To many times we still try to force one another into these molds. The guy rescuing the girl, slaying the dragon in the process. As much as I love this story, it needs to be thrown out the window. Why can’t the girl fight on her own? Or stand side by side with the guy? Or better yet, why can’t the girl rescue the guy?

We have Anna and Elsa. And Merida. We can even go back to Mulan. And now, Star Wars has brought us Rey. We are changing what it means to be a princess. And acknowledging how much that is changing the role of the knight in shining armor.

You see, I know many strong, powerful women. I watched them wield chainsaws for the past two years, swing sledge hammers, and stand before the flames of wildfires and prescribed burns with no fear. I work alongside them, as they are willing to stand for those who need them the most.

UPDATE: As a good friend of mine shared with me, these are not the only types of strong women. It should be noted that the warrior princesses of this world come in many forms, from the ladies that I have worked beside in the world of conservation, to women like my sister who raise children and run the home. They are police officers, firefighters, nurses, students, mothers and daughters. They are the warriors who are brave enough to stand up for themselves and for others they may or may not know. They are lovers and wanderers. Their armor is their strength, their pasts that they have escaped, and these princesses don’t always wear make up. They are the girl behind the coffee counter working their way through school and fighting for independence. They are the single lady with a child in tow working long hours because she has the strength to leave an abusive relationship. They are the women who gather together to strengthen one another, to reach out to others who need support. They are the widow who continues on after their knight has fallen in battle.

Strong women can change the world, just as much as a knight in shining armor. They can work in union. They are equals in the field of battle, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, as individuals. But like all teams, they complement one another.

This is the story that we need to be writing. A knight and a princess standing shoulder to shoulder, facing dangers together as friends and companions.  As equals.

Team Lady

I have this shirt that I wear quite often that causes people to do a double take. If you were to only read the front (as many people do), it could read as questionable. It is a shirt that I am proud to wear, but at the same time, it’s terrifying to wear it because I never know how people will react.

I’ve been cursed out because of this shirt. I’ve been yelled at. Given dirty looks. Avoided. But I’ve also had some amazing conversations because of it. It has made people smile. Opened doors.

This shirt is part of a legacy. This shirt has a deeper story that I am proud to display and share.


Above you can see Team Lady. I was adopted onto this team, so I cannot claim to be an original member. Anyways, there I am. With the shirt.

On the front, the shirt reads: “Women are good for three things.” Then the back has the following list:

1 Tree Felling
2 Fireline

This shirt was designed by several of the ladies I served with in the AmeriCorps St Louis Emergency Response Team, who affectionately called it the Lady Shirt. I’m pretty sure that I was the only guy who bought one of these shirts.

I can’t speak for the amazing women who created these shirts or choose to wear them. I can only speak for myself and why I choose to wear it.

I wear this shirt because it is a statement against sexism. Too many times I have seen men turn down the help of a skilled woman because the simple fact that she was born a female. I know some amazing women who can fell trees like bosses, swing polaskis and pick-axes like nobodies business, and pick up logs and throw them over their shoulders better than most people out in the field. And yet, these are the same ladies who are being told that their assistance is not needed because they are delicate. Or fragile. Or inferior.

I wear this shirt to support my team. As an honorary member of Team Lady, I support them and their decision because they are stronger than they appear to be. I support them because I know that in many ways, they are stronger and better than me. I support them because so many times they have supported me.

It might raise a few eyebrows, but it grabs attention and is the catalyst for conversations. And that is why I wear it.

This shirt is a statement. This shirt is a spark for something bigger. Something deeper.

Learning to Give Thanks

Sometimes we get carried away with all the woes of the world. Our news feeds and media outlets are filled with stories of death and fear, anger and hatred. Every day we are reminded how weak and vulnerable we are. And every once in a while, we forget to be thankful for what we have.

A couple years ago, I ran across a quote from Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Nation that read as follows:

Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.

These words have echoed between my ears every day since I have heard them for the first time. They are a mantra that reminds me to pause and remember to thank God for the small things in life. And this is how I want to live my life.

Earlier this month, I made it my resolution to live my life each day with these words echoing throughout my life. I want to live my life thankful for each and every breath.

I am still learning how to live so that the fear of death cannot echo throughout my life. I think, to some extent, I will always be afraid, but I don’t want it to affect how I live my life. I believe that if we learn to be thankful for everything we have, then we teach ourselves that we can live with fear and not have it control our lives.

Every morning, I pause. I stand and find my center. I give thanks for another day and the opportunities that each breath brings. I am thankful because I have the strength to see the light of another day.

So, I challenge you to see the words of Chief Tecumseh and be challenged to live in a way that you are no longer controlled by fear. Not just fear of death, but a fear of failure, fear of change, and fear of the unknown. Embrace the small moments that we often overlook, smile a little more, and stop every once in a while to say a simple “Thank You!”

Lost in a Dream

A number of years ago, I woke in the morning and had an urge to write out a dream. It was a vivid sequence of images and emotions that has stayed with me for the past several years. There are times when I can remember every moment, every color, and every heartbreak that that vision brought me.

On New Years Eve, between emergency calls at work, I found myself writing once again. It was an uncontrollable urge to free the beast from within. And I wrote. And the words just flowed forth. And I think it is time to share them once again…


There was a time when dreams told the stories of our hearts and souls, revealing the will of God and the answers to prayers that were unspoken other than the cries of our hearts. It was a time when giants walked among us, heroes were born and revealed, and men could see and feel the power of demons and angels.

The darkness was more than the absence of light, but a physical manifestation, a force of power. The light held back the nightmares of the night and the dark forces of evil, fear, and pain. It was a time when faith could be seen, and moments that were frozen in time for all eternity.

I saw it once, in a dream; The mountain shrouded b shadows. Before the path was a tattered temple, its orange cloth flowing loosely in the wind. A grizzled old man, his cloak pulled tight around him, his face and hair untrimmed by the long years in the wilderness, stood before us. His warning echoed in our ears, “Death awaits those who travel the path up the mountain.”

We pressed in close, as he showed us the path that led down the gully and through the gates. He told us of the demon that lived on the mountain, shrouded by death and fierce in battle, who slept in a hole at the end of the path. Hundreds had ventured down the path in an attempt to kill the demon, few had returned. None had succeeded.  But we were certain that where others failed, we would be the ones to succeed.

We knew that to kill this demon, we would have to carry a log up the mountain to place on his head, so we grabbed the log and charged down the path. In our haste, we were unable to maneuver out way through the gate that guarded the path.

After pausing, I watched the group peel the bark from the log and strip extra limbs and material off to reduce the weight. As they worked together, they began to pray together and write words of inspiration over the surface of the wood. I watched from a distance, an outsider to a strange ritual and expression of faith.

I sat there on a rock outcropping, watching from above, until a girl with long hair extended her hand to invite me to join them. The acceptance into the mystery lifted me to join them. I knelt down to write a prayer in the wood, but all that would come out was one word: “Thanks.”

Before I knew it, I was swept to my feet as we dove through the gate and charged up the trail, the log lifted up onto our shoulders. The trail was lined with signs warning us to turn back, to flee before we lost our souls. Soon our path began to get darker, as trees reached up to block out the skies and thorns reached out to grab our ankles. The signs fell behind us and were replaced by ghostly eyes that stared out from behind the underbrush, their voices pleading for us to turn back.

Darkness covered our path as our numbers dwindled off; several people stopped to turn back and others just disappeared as we raced along. I found myself in the front of the log, leading the way down the trail when we came to a fork in the road.

On the right, the path led through a marsh, before twisting behind a bend in the road. To the left, a bridge that led over the water. I turned left to head across the bridge, a safer route, when the man behind me, a tall guy with shaggy black hair pulled the log from my grasp and motioned for me to follow him as he turned right and headed into the marsh. As he balanced the log on his shoulders, it didn’t seem as large as it had been when we set forth on our journey.

I jogged along behind him, alongside a couple others, as we slowly fell further behind. The water became deeper as the man rounded the bend and we lost sight of him. We waded through the murky water as it came up past our waists and up over our chests.

Fear reached out his hands, grasping my limbs as the waters around me started to ripple and several reptilian heads emerged. Even in the land of dreams, where ones thoughts are revealed as truth, one can sink into despair  as I did. I sank into a pit of darkness, of numbness that pulled me under into the blackness. What little light was left faded as I sank beneath the surface.

Everyone says that drowning is peaceful, but the panic that sets in as the darkness grips you, as you struggle to breathe, as you fight to live is exhausting. And after the rush, the silence sets in and you are stuck in the middle of nothingness. Everything goes still and nothing matters anymore. It all just disappears.

In that moment of stillness, I saw a light; a pinprick in the black. It was a pain so intense, a burning of an unquenchable fire that I couldn’t turn from. The searing light that consumed the darkness and unleashed the fear that held so tight onto my limbs, that immobilized me for that moment, for that eternity.

And there, behind the light was the hand reaching out for me, and I had no energy or will to outstretch my own; I was too weary from my battle with the darkness. I watched, as if removed from my own body, as I drifted through the mist of conscienceness, lost in all time, but nor a moment passed as she reached through the fog and pulled me from that pit of darkness.

I was blinded by the darkness and the light was too painful to see, and even with my eyes closed, the light pierced the darkness that had consumed and accepted me. She pulled me from that watery grave and I gasped for air as I lay there on the bank of the marsh. Minutes and hours passed in that moment as I was thankful for the cool breath of life. I lay there, holding her, my savior in my arms as day turned to night and sight returned to my eyes.

I looked on her, and all I could see was the love radiating from her eyes. I realized that the light that had fought off the darkness and freed me to continue living was shining from her chest, pulsing with the beat of her heart.

And when I awoke to the world I was a part of, I could still feel her presence guiding me, teaching me how to love. And I have carried her with me from that day forth, until we meet again…

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