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This Little Thing Called Life - LIVE LIFE LOVE LIFE

This Little Thing Called Life


– Kristen Lester

Giggling… so I was asked by my amazing friend to join this little community of women who have overcome obstacles – reached goals of success – or has a message based on an experience to share – be a “Phoenix of L4”. Wow, I thought and expressed to her – “thank you – I’d be honored”… well what I didn’t realize that as I was trying to toss around a few ideas of how to openly share “my story”, to share my positive outlook on life, to share a few little bumps in this road we call life, I became overwhelmed with fear, a little stress and then the tears began to fall from my eyes. My emotions got the best of me and I felt a bit defeated. I called her… I don’t know where to start… she talked to me and here it begins….
I started writing down ideas… memories… my past… Oh boy – its been a long time since I have revisited this… I for one, and like so many, don’t have the fairy tale that I was dreaming of when I was a young girl. What I did realize that my past 49 years and eleven months have been something that I can refer to as “My Milestones”.
The difficulty of pin pointing a story topic brought on great overwhelming anxiety, as silly as that may seem to many, it was suddenly very real to me.
I began this project writing down quotes that I love… quotes that I refer to when I need to pull myself out of being in a stress mode:
Live – Laugh – love
A Reason – A Season – A Lifetime
Tomorrow the sun will shine and so will I
The Universe has a plan…
Be grateful that certain things didn’t work out
What will be… will be
Let Go Gracefully
Stay Positive
Love the family and friends that are always there
Smile more often
Pay it forward
These are all great… yay for me! I suddenly realize that these are the things that I tell myself when life throws you a little unexpected curve ball on this little journey call “Life”. So here is the real stuff… the raw… the unexposed not so happy, sometimes sad bumps in the road… and some beautiful joys too.
I was so blessed to be born into a loving family – my parents are still married, they still live in the same home I was born and raised in up in East Hampton, New York. They are my rock! They are beyond supportive and I can’t imagine my life without either one of them.
My upbringing was like Disneyland – I didn’t suffer, I didn’t go without – I was surrounded by more love than any child could ever ask for. I lived on the same road in a small town with my aunt and uncle a few houses down the street and my cousins who all were my heart. Life was perfect throughout my young life.
College was fun – I met the most amazing friends – still to this day, my college roommate from Boston is my best friend. We could go months without talking since we all know that is just “life” – but when we are able to do a virtual happy hour via facetime it is like we never skipped a beat. Blessed for amazing friends.
Met a guy in 6th grade, he later after college became my “ex-husband” after seven years of marriage. I wasn’t that girl that could accept a cheating man. I tried to forgive and forget… I really tried… then found an amazing therapist who helped me understand that I was “important”, my feelings truly mattered and I had to learn how to fall back in love with “me”. That took a whole bunch of sessions… matter of fact, I will admit… it took years. She tragically and unexpected died in a car accident ten years later. I have no words for this…
I met a wonderful guy… I’ll refer to him as my “FBI guy” – he made me feel alive again. We had a beautiful love affair – but as life goes… we couldn’t just get it to work and sadness filled my heart… I drowned myself into my work.
An Interior Designer by trade, I was blessed by the Universe to be busier with work than I could ask for – it took my mind off the sadness that filled my heart.
A man at work stepped up… he made me smile, he was a gentleman, he became my mentor, my friend. He made me laugh. I became very good friends with him and his wife – we went to see Reba McEntire. I got back to “me”. It was so refreshing. His wife used to laugh all the time telling me that she was so blessed I came into their life because he always told her that guys and girls could never be “just friends” – she always told him of course they could. I was just that… his friend. One Saturday morning she called me frantic… the police were at her house with his belongings and his wallet… he was just killed in a car accident on his way to work. Just like that… a precious life taken in an instant.
That was a tough year. Life goes on… we support the ones we love. Our hearts are broken but yet we must find a way to live on. They would want that.
A man came into my life for a short time – I will always love him for giving me a sweet baby – unplanned but my greatest gift I will be forever grateful to the Universe for blessing me with. My son – My Universe – My World.
Things didn’t work out there, but I am truly blessed that he is part of my son’s life and we have learned to most of the time focus on our son being the most important aspect of what was “us”. It’s all about the child and ensuring that he always knows that he has both a mom and dad that love him unconditionally.
During that time, I was also in a position of having to come face to face with a sister I loved and treasured more than life itself fall into an addiction lifestyle…. With her husband, also an addict and a child. It went on for a few years – man how that takes a toll on a family. I never would have thought in a million years that having an addict in our family could reek such havoc. My parents were in denial in New York, I was here in Florida dealing with it all. Luckily, I did have her husband’s family and my younger sister here to assist until my mom and dad came to terms with the ugly truth. She overdosed and made it. my dad was in NYC that night having prostate cancer surgery the next morning… My mom by his side, I couldn’t call them. I had to call my aunt and uncle because I didn’t think my sister was going to make it. Thankfully she did, but I couldn’t tell my parents that dreaded night.
There came a moment that we had to make the difficult decision to remove the now “two” children from their parents: my sister and her husband. It wasn’t easy and the courts had to become involved. It tore our family apart – hearts were broken, our family which was so close knit and from an outsider looking in, were considered just about perfect. Not anymore. As this was going on… my favorite Uncle who had been fighting lung cancer passed. He was my heart and soul.
We got through it and now, I am so proud, there were many years of bumps and bruises, but they prevailed. They got treatment, they have been clean and sober, they have another child, have been reunited with my niece and nephew we removed at very young ages, and they are still together. They are an inspiration and they have had the support and unconditional love of the family every step of the way. Please don’t get me wrong… there were many tears, a great deal of hurt and many questionable months and years. Again… we all have a purpose and with enough prayers… the Universe will work in your favor at times for unknown reasons.
Time moves on… my son… my light. One Martin Luther King Day – kids off from school… I get an urgent call from him saying, “mom… I’m ok” … but something bad happened. I’m so sorry. I know you told me to not to ride my friends mini-bike. but I did. I ran into a guy’s garage… I lost control of the bike. I’m so sorry…. the police are on their way… My heart melts… I’m an hour away from him at work. His dad is close thankfully. We get that under control to meet back to my house. I call my parents to share with them the days incident. At that moment, while on the phone with my dad I hear in the background my dad’s fire radio is saying my cousins address a couple houses down from my parents. I say to him… Dad!!!! You have to go down there… the fire radio said unresponsive male… minutes later while on the phone with my mom my dad calls to say my seventeen-year-old nephew just committed suicide. He didn’t make it. Our family would never be the same. My dad is a volunteer fire fighter in our home town.
There are no words when a mother (my cousin) must bury her child. She will never be the same. This was one of those times when I reached out hard to my faith to help my family through this tragedy. There are no words of comfort to offer… only embracing hugs… you know the ones where you never want to let go… the ones that words are not spoken, only tears and sobbing uncontrollably to where you can’t feel your legs any longer and you just slowly sink to the floor while still embracing one another and continually crying until you run out of tears… none of us will ever be the same after… he was bullied at school and it got him… that was more heartbreaking that anything I can ever recall – the school had big poster boards and rolls of art paper lining the halls of the high school… at his funeral they were brought to the reception hall of the fire department and the words we read that day of children apologizing in words and artwork were more than anyone could handle.. it became real… it was smacking us in our face… how could kids be so mean… it happens… it did… he is now gone.
Time goes one – I meet a great guy… for a moment I think this just may be the one… a year passes – we are good… then BAM… he commits suicide. What the hell is going on I ask myself…
I am broken for some time… yup first the sad, then the mad… then retreating back to laying on the floor in the fetal position crying so hard you are hyper ventilating and then screaming to the ceiling at him… yelling at him, “why did you leave me”? Time heals. I will have to admit… time doesn’t really heal the heart, you don’t get “over” it… you just learn to live differently. Death rears its ugly head once again.
So here is the thing…. I’ve been through some sad times… as human beings, we are all going to be confronted with death, we are all going to be confronted with life challenges. The Parkland School shooting was a big wake up call which happened right in our backyard – that was a tough one too… but as I reflect on “life”, I must say that I am just so truly blessed. Blessed for my family, blessed for my amazing friends who are “My Tribe”. They say that you reap what you sow. Treat people how you want to be treated. It is so true. We are all born, and we are all going to die. I have learned to lose myself in my music. For me… “Music is Healing” as the song says by Florida Georgia Line. Another song which resonates with me is Jamie O’Neal, “Somebody’s Hero”. These life events make us who we are… how we deal with the challenges of everyday life molds us.
Music Is Healing lyrics which touch my heart say, “… live in harmony… your song is playing… prayers make it to the ceiling… light your candle against the wind… change the world… back to believing… love is the answer… your song is playing…music is healing…” I love it! This is a must listen to if you’ve never heard the song – give it a try… you will love it. I promise.
Jamie O’Neal says is best in her song “Somebody’s Hero” …. “she never pulled anyone from a burning building… she’s never rocked central park to a half a million… She’s just your everyday average girl… She’s somebody’s Hero” …
I keep telling myself that I just want to be “happy”. As I approach my Milestone birthday this month of “50 years” – I realize just how truly blessed I am. I want to live to be 100 years old! I am half way there! Yay for me! I can’t change my past… but what I can do is remind myself each morning when I wake up that today is a new day! I have a purpose! I have dreams! I love my life! I really have everything that I could ever ask for. I feel defeated some days… but then I think of Diane Lane in my favorite movie of all time, “Under the Tuscan Sun”, and just smile because no one person can make “me” happy… no man can make me happy, no fancy car can make me happy – very high count sheets and fluffy towels and soft fuzzy blankets will make me happy.. oh sorry, just got off track for a minute… joking… well not really – but in all seriousness I have come to realize that only “I” can create my own destiny and that includes loving myself, being easy on myself, caring for myself and smiling when I can take a moment to experience a beautiful sunrise or sunset. I must stop and smell the roses… not sweat the small stuff… take time to care for me and cherish and nourish relationships that make me feel good! Kiss your babies when they are asleep, don’t ever go to bed angry, forgive, know that you are always “enough” and don’t be so hard on yourself because you are SO worth it!
Livin’ Life – Lovin’ Life
Happy “50th” Birthday to me! –All Month Long, xoxo
Love Kristen

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