July 1, a retrospective on the first six months of 2019.

At the half way point of the year, I find myself reflecting on the trials our family has faced.

Losing Brenda in February, my subsequent hospital admission in March, some changes at the work, and the loss of friends causing me to attend more funerals this than I have been at in the last 10 years combines, the first half of the year has been challenging. The challenge continues for Lynn and her mom as they continue figuring out Brenda’s estate and overcoming the tremendous loss.

Looking for the light in the darkness, Lynn and her mom have been brought closer together with dealing with Brenda’s loss.

Even with my last admission being around three months ago, I’m feeling stronger and more resilient than I have in years.

Things at the paper have settled out and work is giving me a sense of purpose that I haven’t felt since I worked on the ambulance.

In short, as crappy as the front half of this year has been, gains have been made. I’ve heard it once said that the bigger the challenges you face, the more growth you can have to get through them. I don’t like the challenges that have been thrown our way, but I am stronger now than I have been in years.

My sleep is better. My blood pressure is better. My fitness level is better. I’ve started developing a mental toughness that I was missing before.

It’s been a rough year so far, and I can’t help but hope and pray that the back half of the year goes somewhat better.

I do have things to look forward to though. July and August are full of great events that I love to cover. Our eleventh anniversary is in August. I’m swallowing my fear and discomfort and returning to school in September. For the first time in a long time I’m actually looking into the future with some glimmer of hope.

I know that storms that I can’t predict are ahead of me. I know that the multiple mental health issues I struggle can flare at any time and I have to remain vigilant, especially as I move through the summer into the end of August and September, my most troubling time of year. Even knowing this I feel like I am better able to weather whatever is thrown at me.

Yeah, the year so far has been tough, but these trials have strengthened me and I am firmly a believer that what has happened happened when it was meant to. I can’t imagine how I would have reacted to any of this had it happened a year ago. I can’t imagine that I would have had the strength to be there for Lynn when she needed me the most.

As crappy as this year has been so far my growth has been equal. I have to find the light where I can.

Kevin

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