Thursday, October 19, 2017

My little Miracle

Today is Colt’s birthday. It is hard to believe that exactly one year ago he came into my life and changed it forever. It is surprising to realize the impact he has had on me, and how much I have grown in this short year. Especially these last 165 days since he has been gone.

Colt was born at 6:56pm on October 19, 2016. He weighed 8lbs 14oz and was 22in long. I remember the day he was born, as if it were yesterday. I remember being able to hold him the whole first hour of his life, and then watch my husband hold him with proudness I had never seen in him before. There was a reverence in the room as just the two of us were able to bond with our sweet boy. From those first moments with him, we knew there was something special about him… we could feel the righteousness of his valiant little spirit radiating from him and brightening the whole room… really, our whole lives.
It was the best few months of my life, as I held both of my children each day and was blessed with their spirits in our home. Colt lived for exactly 200 days (to the hour), and I literally felt my heart rip in two as I held his lifeless body at the hospital, trying to memorize every detail of his perfect face before kissing him and saying goodbye. I
didn’t know how I would ever be able to face a day without my little bubba in tow… he had spent EVERY SECOND of his life in mine, and I knew that would be a change that wasn’t easy to get used to. That walk away from my son, leaving him in the hospital without me, was the hardest walk I have ever done… and honestly, hope I ever have to do.
I don’t know why I had to lose my son… I don’t know why so many things happen that seem unfair… I don’t know why sometimes life is just hard… Some of the answers to our questions aren’t supposed to be given to us in this life, but we are instead asked to trust in the Lord and have patience to wait for his answers and his timing. This doesn’t mean we can’t ask questions, or that we have to be happy with everything that happens to us… It is ok to feel angry, sad, hurt, confused, or misunderstood. Heavenly Father gave us ALL of our emotions, and it is ok to feel them.

I LOVED our recent General Conference so so much! I truly felt that Heavenly Father was looking out for me personally through the words he inspired his servants to declare to the world. One of my favorites was by Elder Hallstrom, entitled Has the Day of Miracles Ceased?
I don’t know if this specific talk struck the same emotional heart strings in others as it did for me. But, for someone who had, just five months earlier, buried a child who was fervently prayed for by parents who desperately desired more children, it was a beautiful testimony of hope.
Elder Hallstrom posed this question:
“What about the innumerable faith-filled, priesthood-blessing-receiving, unendingly-prayed-for, covenant-keeping, full-of-hope Latter day Saints whose miracle never comes?”
If I hadn’t been paying close attention to his talk before, I sure was now. He had just described us… We were faith-filled… we gave Colt a priesthood blessing and prayed for Heavenly Father not to take him away from us… we kept our covenants… we WERE full of hope… yet, there I sat... It had been five months since I was last able to hold my son… Where was my miracle? Had the Lord forgotten about me?
Elder Hallstrom went on, “They possessed full confidence that God could save them, but if not, they had complete faith in His plan... Do we have the faith not [to] be healed from our earthly afflictions so we might be healed eternally?”
Did I have complete faith in my Heavenly Father, the one who knows me best? Was I able to accept that while the Lord could have saved my son from death, he chose not to heal him or my broken heart? This was all part of my plan, and by not healing me in this life was he doing an even greater healing of my soul? Was I being molded into a person who was worthy of the Celestial Kingdom?
I have felt what it is like to live without my child for just 5 short months… how much more painful would it be to not have one of my family members for eternity? By giving us this trial, molding us into better people, we were becoming more worthy to receive the blessings we were promised of an eternal family. Suddenly I felt like my life in this world really wouldn’t be too long, when I had an eternity to live with my son afterwards. I also felt grateful for my trial… if this is what I had to do to have to my family together FOREVER… it was worth it.

My life is not perfect, it is far from it… but I know that if I have faith, trust, and patience in my Heavenly Father, I will get to see my son again. I will get to embrace him, kiss his chubby cheeks, and even raise him in a perfect world. There are so many blessings that are waiting for me in this life, and the one I desire most, just waiting for me across the veil. Elder Hallstrom declared, “We [truly] are living a miracle, and further miracles lie ahead.” This life is just a small part of our eternity… yet, it is crucial that we develop the skills and talents that will mold us into the children of God we were destined to become. I pray that each of us will have the patience to endure this life well, and let the Lord mold us... because if we do… it will all work out, and it will all be worth it.
I am so grateful for the blessings that Colt has taught me this past year. While I long for the day when I can physically hold him again, I can’t help but feel peace and hope whenever I think of him. I know that because of him I have grown closer to my savior, I have become a better person, and I am holding even more tightly to the iron rod. For this, I can be grateful for my trial, even if I wish it didn’t have to happen. I can celebrate Colt’s birthday today… celebrate the amazing son he is… and be happy that I was blessed with the miracle of being his mother.

Happy Birthday my little Colt Man… I love you.        -Mom

Friday, September 29, 2017

It is our Job to LOVE Them

A saying I haven’t been able to get out of my mind lately is, “It is not our job to fix others, but to love them.” This is much easier said than done, especially if you are a spouse, parent, friend, or in a close relationship with basically anyone. I have found this to be especially hard for someone like me, who identifies with being somewhat of a perfectionist. For a long time I felt like there was nothing wrong with me expecting others to live a close to perfect life, and really struggled when people strayed too far from my picture of perfectness I had planned for them. I wasn’t controlling, but I do remember feeling frustrated when people couldn’t just live ‘right’.

I have six younger siblings, each one I love with my whole heart, and I want them to be happy. However, I used to think that meant they needed to live life MY way. I became a wife 6.5 years ago, and felt the same way about my husband, and soon after our daughter… but somewhere along the way I started to realize that it doesn’t matter what I think is ‘right’ or ‘good’, because every person is just that, a person. With that they have their own feelings, hopes, dreams, fears, and LIFE. What worked for me, and made me happy, didn’t necessarily work for ANYONE else.
It hit me even stronger, 5 months ago, when my world was shattered with the loss of Colt. Now, not only did I have to let go of the fact that I couldn’t ‘fix’ everyone else’s life, but I couldn’t even fix my own. For the first time, I felt like my life truly sucked… Of course, I had many other trials, but I had always had a life with problems I could ‘fix’, or at least work on… trials that I would think: I got this! ... Not this… nothing could fix this…
Those first few days…weeks… I watched the world going on all around me, and I was shocked that nobody could feel my pain, or at least see it radiating from me with the brightness of the sun. It was then that I really began to wonder; How many times had I ignored, or worse, judged someone harshly, when they were going through the unimaginable… How many times did I pass people on the street, who felt like they couldn’t go on, and not even bat an eyelash their way? I realized that there were so many problems in the world that couldn’t be fixed by anyone on the earth, and that what people really needed, was to feel loved.

One of my friends recently gave an amazing relief society lesson; in it she talked about her gay son. She brought his picture to the class in hopes that we would not judge him harshly, but “see” the real person that he was. Her husband and she were devastated and shocked when they first found out about their amazing boy, and had a lot of questions about what his life was going to be like now, how this was going to affect their relationship, and about his eternal salvation. In the following weeks and months they saw how much pain he had suffered through, for so long… alone… and worried about his well-being. They realized that he had a great conflict between what he felt and wanted vs. what he had been taught in the church. One of the biggest things they learned was that they needed to make decisions that were grounded in faith and not in fear. They didn’t want to come across as condoning his actions, and soon came across a blog post, written by Josh Searle (a gay mormon), which says:
Occasionally I get a letter from a concerned parent about their child in a gay relationship or leaving their Christian faith. Often these parents are paralyzed with fear. Fear of condoning (accepting immoral behavior) yet fear of losing their child to choices the parent disagrees with. Based on correspondence with these parents, I feel many – in the name of “truth and righteousness” draw their swords and commence an unwarranted battle.

The Exercise Analogy
I enjoy exercise and healthy eating. I share with family/friends the pro’s of a healthy lifestyle and give simple suggestions to implement it. They see my daily choices of going to the gym and preparing healthy meals. And, when it’s time to eat, generally I choose something healthy while they grab food that is anything but that. And we eat… in peace. Why? Because:

·         I don’t say, “If you order that double stuffed lasagna, you are not welcomed at this table.”
·         I don’t slap the donut out of their hand saying “I told you before! You’re going to get diabetes from eating this!”
·         I don’t turn up my nose and say “Unless you include exercise and proper diet into your life, you’re not welcome around here!”
The Reality
Because of past conversations and my personal visible life, my family and friends ALREADY know where I stand on health and fitness. Smashing their faces into their pies destroys the relationship and I believe, is offensive to God. All involved are hurt and nothing gained. Here’s what I do:

·         I say, “How’s that double stuff lasagna? Did it turn out? It looks great!”
·         I ask, “How was your weekend? Were you able to get out of the house?”
·         I show interest in them, regardless if I agree or not with all of their choices.

I love this analogy, because I remember people telling me, when I was younger, that I needed to choose good friends, which often implied choosing friends who shared my faith. I was taught this for protection, however, the one thing most people fail to teach is that we shouldn’t be scared to love others who share different opinions and beliefs as ourselves. What makes a good friend isn’t their belief system, but how they respect you, your values, and your beliefs.

I have many friends of all different races, religions, political parties, etc… and all I know is that I don’t agree with everything each and every one of my friends do, in fact there is not one person in my life that I feel is perfect… However, I do love each of my friends, cherish their opinions, and believe they are a special person for being exactly who they are. I love the amazingness that each of them bring into my life individually, and wouldn’t want to ever change who they were as a person. I genuinely love them, and know that their worth is so great. Yes, even those who don’t share my faith.
One of these dear friends of mine did not grow up in the LDS church, but did grow up in a predominantly LDS community. She once shared with me her experiences with ‘friends’ in high school, who abandoned her after finding out that she didn’t share their faith. These ‘friends’ acted out of fear of someone that was a good person, someone they could trust to help them keep their high standards… but also someone that didn’t attend THEIR church on Sunday.
This friend of mine is one of the most amazing and kind people I know, however, I don’t know if she will ever forget the hurt she felt from those na├»ve high school friends of hers, who believed they could not love someone who was different from themselves. I do not judge these ‘friends’, their parents, or leaders… we all make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them. However, her experience was not much different from countless other stories I have heard when someone doesn’t quite fit “the mold” that others want or expect them to fit in. I see it in every aspect of my life, all over the news, and even during short trips out of my little house...
Christ has commanded us to “love our neighbors”, but he has never said anything about it being our job to ‘fix’ other people. We are to stand for what we believe… shine our light for others to see… but it is by our works, our example, and our love that we can (and will) bring others unto Christ. I believe there is no room in this gospel for judging, belittling, or showing unkindness in any way. Even Christ, who suffered more than anyone could ever possibly imagine, only showed love and charity to his fellow men. He is our example, and who we should strive to be more like each and every day.
I don’t think we should ever be expected to lower our standards, and believe it is fine to think things like: “that isn’t something I think is right”, or “I’m not sure that activity is keeping the commandments”, we are supposed to use judgment between right and wrong… but it is never our place to think someone else is bad or wrong in what they do. We do not know what someone is going through, what their motives are, or their individual relationship with our Savior. It is ok to disagree with someone’s lifestyle… IT IS OK. Even if you do disagree, I promise you that there is room for LOVE, and that is the greatest commandment of all.
I quote my friend: “I would not be the person I am today without my son, who has opened my heart and mind to loving other people who are LGBT. I have met some of the most talented and wonderful Mormon LGBT people of all ages and demographics that I am embarrassed to say I would have never made the effort to know, if it weren’t for my son... Every day of our lives we have opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us. Love is an action word, demonstrated through selflessness, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. My family’s diversity has helped me to see people as God sees them and to reach out to others in kindness, whether that is inviting someone to dinner, FHE, or just saying hello. I strive to treat others the way I want to be treated and the way I would want others to treat my children—with kindness.”
I have to agree with my friend… I am a completely different person because of my trials. Going through the loss of my precious son has opened my eyes to the people of the world, and has made my heart grow in compassion. I have learned that some (many) of life’s problems can’t be fixed by someone like me, that is God’s job… and all he asks is that I love them, all of them.

“Faith, Hope, and Love. But the Greatest of these is Love.”

1Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Its Ok to Not be Ok

Today I am supposed to have an 11 month old boy... Today I am wishing I was snuggling that boy, relishing in his last month of his first year, instead of cleaning the house and looking for a job... Today I am sad… Today I wish my life were different...

It has been rough lately, with so many things going on with family... events for Colt… Graci's 5th birthday... I miss him. I sat watching my daughter, so excited on her birthday five days ago, and my heart began to ache... Never would I get to experience my son unwrapping his gifts, or picking out his birthday cake... Never would I get to give him a birthday interview and measure him on our height chart to see how much he’d grow… Never…
Except, maybe… just maybe… I might get to someday. I don’t have all the answers, and I definitely don’t know as much as I probably should, but I do understand that one day my sorrows will be gone, and I will get my son back. I just have to make it through these hard days (sounds easy right??). I may not cry every day, in fact some days I can see the beauty of my life so clearly… but, not a day goes by that I don’t miss my son, or feel his absence… Even the times that I can feel him close seem to pale in comparison to the giggles, snuggles, and joy we experienced when he lived in our home…

Today is a hard day… even with the lord sending people right & left to help me through. The friend who brought us cookies yesterday… the one who posted a quote on facebook, which I desperately needed to hear, today… the thoughtful gift of my amazing brother… the outfit that just happened to be returned and back on the shelf at the store, which was one of my favorites of Colt’s, that I got rid of before he passed (I bought it)… the smiles, kind words, and love of numerous family and friends have been flooding into my life. The Lord is watching out for me… even though I have been far less than perfect lately… I don’t feel so alone… but nothing can make the pain subside sometimes…
So today, I don’t get to show off my amazing 11 month old, share all the new things he can do now, start planning an epic 1st birthday party, or be in shock that we are almost to that 1st birthday… I get to be sad, and that’s ok too.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hike to the Wind Caves

We hiked the Wind Caves on Labor Day for Team Colt, and it was the BEST!!!

This girl, here ^^, is AMAZING! She is one of the best people I know! So, we decided to dedicate this hike to her Mom, who has been gone nearly 14 years, Ruth La Dawn Watterson Starks.

Team Colt loves reaching out to others, and letting them know we are with them through the many trials life throws at us. We love that we were able to give our dear friend a small dose of comfort, in knowing that we knew her struggle, and we will NEVER forget her dear mom.

4 La Dawn, is what we wrote on us! (although I know its hard to see in the picture!) I will always think of her whenever I do this hike again!

It was fun having so many of our family with us for this event! Both sets of Colt's grandparents, several of his aunts & uncles, most of his cousins, and a handful of his extended family were able to hike with us! I always get a little emotional when we do an event for him, but this one was especially special, because it is the first one that we have had all four of our parents with us.

Also, do you just LOVE our Team Colt shirts!?! Cuz I absolutely do!!

Just look at our awesome (& BIG) group! I love each of these people with my whole heart!

It wasn't an easy hike for some of these guys, but they all did it, and with a smile! Geez, we have some amazing family and friends!

Lisa and Holly painted rocks for Colt & La Dawn, which we left at the top! How awesome are they!?! (although one fell off the cliff and was lost!) I hope they are there next time we go!

And last, but not least, look at my sweet Graci! She LOVES doing all the events for Colt, and gets so excited to win each one for him! She was the first one to the top in our group, with Gpa Woodland, and ran much of the way! I love how close she makes me feel to Colt, and hope she always feels that love for him that she does now. Their bond has truly held strong, even though they only spent 6 1/2 months together on earth!


Also, its been 4 months since Colt's Angel Day, and while its been the worst 4 months of my life, its also been amazing to feel God's love individually for me and my family. I know I have some HARD months ahead of me, but with God and these people by my side, I know I can do it! #milesforCOLTman

Love you Bubba, miss you ALWAYS!! <3

Friday, August 18, 2017


*Warning! This post contains the events of the day that Colt passed away. I had a friend send me a blog, not too long ago, that went through the events of the day she (the writer) had lost her baby girl to SIDS. She died nearly 8 years ago... but that blog post was the first time I felt like someone understood what I had gone through. So I decided to write my own post about MY worst day, and hope it may find its way to another grieving mother someday, and help them. 
Also, Happy 10 Months to Colt! (tomorrow)

Sunday, May 7th started like any other Sunday… Colt was wearing his plaid button down shirt and khaki pants. He spent the first part of church with Nana and McKinley. He loved playing with them and Graci, but kept smiling at Richard and I when he would see us down the row. About half-way through the meeting, he got fussy enough I had to take him out. I bounced him as I walked up and down the hallway (most Sundays I would walk 1-2 miles, during church, trying to entertain him). It took almost until the end of the meeting, but it finally happened… he fell asleep.
I usually sent him to Sunday school with Nana while Richard and I taught our class, but since I had just gotten him to sleep I took him with us. He slept for about half the class, cuddled in my lap. He hadn’t slept in my arms for a LONG time, and I remember feeling so blessed that I got to hold him while he slept again. Once awake, he stole the show! The kids had a hard time paying attention with his wiggly self in there. They laughed when he chewed on Richard’s fingers, were grossed out by the slobber he left on Megan’s key chain, and loved how he giggled whenever he looked at me as he crawled around our classroom floor. Tyler held him… awkwardly… and everyone laughed... It wasn’t the most reverent class time, but it sure was fun! Then we went to Relief Society where he stood on my chair and talked to all the ladies behind us, played with his best church friend, and ate some of his yummy snacks. We made it all the way through Relief Society without a trip to the hall, which was a first for him! All the women made such a fuss over how happy and cute he always was.
                He went down for a nap right after church. We ate lunch and wrestled around the living room floor as a family. It seemed like the perfect Sunday. Later, Richard and I went outside to relax on the porch swing. Graci came down after a short while and told us Colt was awake. We went back inside and found him crawling all over the living room. Richard fed him while I went on a walk up the canal road. I didn’t walk on this road much because it was too hard to push a stroller on, but it was my favorite place to go.
This time, however, I felt strange... The thought kept coming to me, “This is going to be the worst day of your life”. It played over and over in my head. I couldn’t shake the feeling that a rattle snake was going to bite me, but made it home safe. I didn’t think too much of it, though, because that saying had been in my head quite often the past two weeks. Just two Sundays ago we had a guest speaker in class, who talked about the day he tragically lost his mother and sister in a double homicide. The Lord had been with him through the whole thing, and he distinctly heard those words that had been repeating in my mind on the day he found them dead. They stuck with me…
 When I returned, I found Richard and Graci, outside, trying to fly her kite, while Colt was inside with everyone playing on the floor. He wasn’t up for too long before he started getting tired again. (Sunday’s were a little hard because they messed up our routine.) I swept him up from the floor and took him into our room. He snuggled on my shoulder for a moment when I gave him his favorite turquoise blanket. Then I gently laid him down in his crib, put his blanket on his left side just how he liked, and whispered ‘I love you’. He slowly rolled to his right side, looked up at me with a sleepy smile, and closed his eyes. I walked out of the room and shut the door behind me, not knowing that would be my last interaction with my son.

                We ate dinner, and I went out to the trees to lay in the hammock. Colt had been asleep for about 2.5 hours. I was only in the hammock for 5-10 minutes before I heard strange noises coming from the house. After a few seconds I thought I heard screaming and my name being called out. Something told me there was something horribly wrong. I ran as fast as I could to the house and I kept yelling, “what is going on?” to my family that was out on the deck. Nobody knew… I stepped inside and my brother, Devin, told me to “Get back there now!” and pointed towards my bedroom. I rounded the corner to the hall and saw the worst sight my heart could ever possibly imagine. Richard was hovered over Colt on the floor, where he lay discolored and lifeless. I didn’t know what to do and felt completely empty as I stood in horror watching my husband give my baby boy CPR.
                I heard my dad talking on the phone, and the distinct words, “I think we have a dead baby”. I turned and ran into my bathroom… slid down the wall… and I prayed. I don’t even remember all that I prayed for, but I do know I asked for strength to accept whatever happened. My mom found me there, picked me up, and said something about how it was going to be ok. At this point, everything was moving in slow motion and everyone sounded like they were talking under water.
I walked back out to where Colt and Richard were. I had tears streaming down my face as I rubbed his chubby arm and sobbed at Richard to ‘please save him’. I held his hand as Richard continued doing CPR. At some point Graci came around the corner and saw us… her face filled with concern and questions. I ran to her, hugged her close, and took her to the kitchen where someone else took her from me. I called my father-in-law and asked him to pray for us, that Colt wasn’t breathing… I hung up when I noticed that the first responders had arrived. They told me to go to a different room… that I wouldn’t want to watch... So I stood in the living room… not knowing what to do… It seemed like forever before the ambulance got there. I watched them wheel Colt out… I felt a small ray of hope that he might pull through… I prayed for God not to take my precious little boy...

I rode in the front of the ambulance as it drove to the hospital. On the way I called some of my best friends… I needed people to pray for us. I kept looking back at the EMT’s working on Colt, praying he would be ok. I was shaking… I kept saying, “Hold on, Bubba”… I wanted to throw up…
                When we got to the hospital they handed me his torn clothes and took me to a room just inside, where I sat and watched them try to save my baby. Luckily, I wasn’t alone for too long before Richard got there. We sat and cried… prayed and held each other… My parents came in soon after and held us close as we helplessly watched.
As I sat and watched, any hope I had felt left me, and I knew he was gone. I sat there, knowing there was nothing to be done, and wanting them to just stop so I could hold my baby. But I just sat… I sat and felt empty… I didn’t even know what to feel at this point. It was like I was watching a movie… how could this be real? How could my baby really be gone?
Soon, the doctor came and talked with us, he told us he didn’t think he could do anything more… We decided to let him go. They couldn’t get his heart to start back up and worried that even if they were somehow able to, he would have awful brain damage. I knew there was nothing they could do. I knew Heavenly Father had called him home…
                I was somewhat relieved to see them start leaving the room, because I just wanted to hold him and get a chance to say goodbye. I knew he was gone, I knew he was ok, and I knew I would be ok… even if I didn’t feel remotely okay at that moment… They left the room, wrapped him in a fleece blanket, and placed him in my arms. I sat and held him… I rocked him back and forth… He had tubes coming out of him, smelled funny, and his skin was cold. He was lifeless… I knew his spirit was no longer in his body, but I also knew he was there with us. I could feel him… I could feel angels all around, helping me get through this. I kept kissing his forehead and rubbing every inch of him with my finger, trying to memorize every detail… I didn’t want to ever forget his precious little face. My parents, Chelise and Dusty, and Richard and I just sat with him, and held each other. I didn’t ever want to leave. They let me hold him for a long time. When I felt ready, I let Richard lay him back down in the hospital bed so we could answer questions with the detective as they got him ready to leave.

                They took us to a room… the rose room. Richard and I sat there and just hugged each other. We had a few friends come, and they were able to help my dad give Richard and I priesthood blessings. We answered the detective’s questions… and then they told us we could go back to see him again before the mortuary took him away.
                We went back into the hospital room and found him laying there on the bed. He looked somewhat peaceful, but also strange. It was weird to see him lying so still… he had NEVER laid so still… I let Richard pick him up, and made sure he took extra care with his head. Then I held him again for a moment before I let everyone else have a turn. When everyone was finished, I took him back. I never wanted to let him go, but knew I had to. It took me a little while, but I finally felt like it was time. He was with his Heavenly Father now, and it was ok to let him go.
I will never forget placing him on the stretcher to be taken away... I will never forget the feeling of anguish as I said goodbye... I will never forget how hard it was to know I would never again see his sweet smile, cuddle him in the rocking chair, or read him stories… A part of my heart felt like it had been ripped out of my body. As I watched them take him away, I wondered how my own heart was still beating. How could I be alive when I felt so much pain… so much emptiness…
Leaving the hospital was almost just as hard as laying him on that stretcher. I felt like I was missing something... I was missing someone… How could I go anywhere without my little Colt Man in tow? It felt strange to not have him there. It felt like I was in a dream… I just clung to the clothes and blanket they had given me, that were his… I didn’t put them down for a long time.
I cried all night, and barely slept. But somehow, through the horrible pain I was feeling, I knew everything was going to be ok. I knew that one day it would all make sense… I knew this was the plan… my plan… And while I had never felt so lost, I had also never felt the spirit so strong. I didn’t know what to expect in the coming days… but I knew that there was no way I was ever going to stop working, not even for one second, to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. All I wanted was to have my Colt back… and I knew how to get him… so I prayed for strength and meekness… and I was ok.

I have felt Colt's absence every single moment since he died. There is nothing that can erase the pain I feel every day when I wonder what he would be doing if he were with us... the pain of seeing other babies, around his age, and wishing I could run over to them with my little boy and make new friends... the pain of living without someone I hold so dear... However, through all of the pain, I am ok. Just like I knew I would be on the night that Colt died... There is never an 'easy' day, but I am able to find joy, feel peace, and know that one day I will get to do all the things I long to do today, with Colt.