Tuesday, June 12

Thanks . . . and Happy Birthday, Anne

Spring came late to my heart this year.

After cold, darkened winter days, my optimism usually begins to simmer in January. Hope breaks through any lingering clouds in February. By early March the last ice crystals of doubt have melted away.

This year was different.

Over the course of last fall and a too long winter, my family became engaged in a battle. A clash over values, perceptions, and beliefs, the turf war unfolded right in our backyard. We were trying to live our lives as usual, but life as we know it may never be the same.

My family is not perfect by any means, nor do we claim to be. But we're trying to do our best to live our lives the way we perceive we should.

So are those on the opposing side of the conflict.

We first met them in our driveway. They were making a drug deal right under our security lights. Within days, our house was broken into. Two more break-ins occurred within coming weeks. Hastily installed security cameras revealed our yard as a major thoroughfare for crime. Law enforcement surveillance revealed a shocking number of people were involved. Cynical phone calls, cyber stalkers, and twisted emails were proffered as calling cards to greet us each day.

A coldness, deeper than the season, settled into me.

By March, my soul brimming with negativism, I realized I needed to tip the scales back the other way.

I started a gratitude journal.

I discovered that the seemingly simple act of finding and focusing on one good thing each day can yield a bounty of goodwill. In my soul, the sun once again began to shine bright.

I am achingly grateful that there are more good, honest people in the world than those who choose otherwise. I sincerely appreciate their hope, optimism, and kindness, and their determination to light the way for those navigating darkness.

Today, Anne Frank would have been 83 years old.

Her words continue to reach beyond the circumstances of her tragic death to guide and inspire us: “I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.”

Thank you, Anne. And Happy Birthday!

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