June13th was my grandfather’s birthday. Pop-pop, Poppy, Van, Grampa, Gramps – whatever you called him, he was loved by many and would have turned 105 this past Sunday. As it was, this June 13 marked the five year anniversary of the day we buried him; he died one week before his 100th birthday, and we celebrated.

June 13, 2010, was a day full of emotions for me. Being my grandfather’s birthday, I was reminded of him, of the love of grandparents, and of a life well lived. June 13th also marked the end of a three-day trip with our children and our dear friends. We celebrated the end of school with a weekend of friendship, family and fun.
As I unpacked from our trip and prepared for a book talk that night, I received the news that a father at my sons’ school had passed away. Once again I was hit by the emotions of the day; devastated and shocked by a young and untimely death.

In all my talks, I share that tragedy will happen to everyone at some point in our lives – and that we can choose to become a more bitter or fearful person, or we can choose to surround ourselves with the goodness that reaches out to us during our darkest time. We may not see or recognize the goodness at the time, nor may we be receptive to or welcoming of it. But it will be there – and it can carry us through whatever we face.
There are no words to comfort a grieving wife or her two young daughters. There is only prayer and hope and faith that time will begin to heal deep wounds. These wounds never fully go away, but they do heal and can leave us stronger, and leave us with the strength to be the goodness for someone else.

Family, Faith and Friendship. My weekend held all three – and I continue to pray for others who hopefully will take small comfort in feeling the uplifting power of prayer.