this little light of mine.

Five years ago, the world lost one of the greatest men I’ve ever had the privilege to know.Β I didn’t think it was possible, but I miss Peter, my late father-in-law, now more than ever before. I’m proud to carry his name.

But the pain hasn’t lessened, the sorrow hasn’t faded. The void he has left seems to grow with each year that passes without him. Time certainly does not heal all wounds.

It still pains me that Ben and I didn’t get to see him before the surgery started. But I find comfort in the fact that all of the time we spent together was filled with joy and laughter, love and compassion. During our final visit, I sat with him in the Hoadley homestead hand in hand as we both sobbed and laughed and hugged while we watched the video of Ben and I getting married. Peter so warmly embraced me into his family. He was simply the best father-in-law a girl could ever hope for.

I’m grateful that this week includes the birthdays of three people that I dearly love, because it also marks the passing of two people I dearly loved: my grandmother and Peter. It’s a week I often wish away, hoping it passes quickly without causing any more wreckage. Alas, this year one more is added to losses – the kindhearted companion of my late grandfather.

A friend posted a photo containing the words below this week – they could not be more perfect or more true. These short, simple lines perfectly encapsulate what the holidays – and our lives in general – should be about: spending time with the people we love as we try to figure out this crazy adventure of life.

In between the parties and presents,
we find the most blessed gift – time.

Remember: there are no returns and no exchanges.

So spend it wisely throughout the year
on the people who matter most.

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