Finding something better

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Usually, around the holidays, I resort to taking an antidepressant. I know the difficult months are coming with the anniversary of Maddux's birth and death. One friend coined them "My dark period." I didn't like taking them. And I wanted, I NEEDED to find something better for me. A little over two years ago, I decided to be more proactive in my grief, instead of reactive to my grief. I decided NOT to take the antidepressants. I decided to change my diet, change my body and 'see' what that does for my head. I started with cutting out all bad things from my diet...alcohol, sugar, unnecessary fats. I started eating healthier. Then I added hot yoga...everyday. A few months later, I started working out at my local CrossFit gym. I could feel my body becoming stronger and my mind...well my mind was just a tad bit quieter. Almost a year ago I started working out with a neighbor at another gym down the hill. This is where I found my 'girl squad'. Women who I would work out with occasionally. Until recently, the workouts with some of the women were just hit and miss. Through FB we started finding each other and requesting friendships. Then came February and my posts about Maddux. They were all gracious in their comments and sympathetic in person. I knew these women, and men...were awesome, I just never realized how awesome they all were until today.

They had all coordinated to arrive for a 5 am workout, wearing matching t-shirts with Winnie the Pooh, and his name, Maddux, printed below. I can't describe the feeling seeing these women, and two coaches wearing shirts that represented my son! A combination of awe and exhilaration. There was no sadness and no tears. Just joy. My cup runneth over.

I have talked before about people coming into our lives for a Reason, Season or a Lifetime. It's important to embrace each and every person that presents themselves to you. And don't be sad or mad if the time is only for a reason or a short season. I can look back at many older friendships now, and it is so clear to me that there was a reason for the friendship. Or that our friendship only lasted for a season. It all begins with a desire for connection. I admit I am a hard person to get to know...unless you want to talk to me about death or grief. Then I am an open book. Sometimes too open. I am also my worst enemy. I don't make friends easily. As I ponder today and the kindness showed to me, I wonder, am I their reason, or are they my reason? And ya know what?

It doesn't matter. We all occupy this world together and this world could use more kindness. I was witness to a beautiful kindness this I will always cherish.

Today, I was blessed.

I can only hope that I have graced their lives as much as they have graced mine.

~ Cheryl Haggard, NILMDTS Cofounder and Mother to Maddux Achilles Haggard