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reviewNovember 11, 2015

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This time of year has always been a bit awkward for me. Early November has a lot of painful memories attached, memories that shaped my path through roadblocks more than open doors. It’s a time of year I pause for a little longer to feel those ever present divine arms encircling me and lean into them just a little more. It’s always a temptation to re-live those memories, drag myself through the darkest moments I have known, and at times that may be beneficial, though it rarely is. The past is a dangerous world, one where we get to master the remote control and replay how we would tweak the scenes with the perfect clarity of hindsight vision. The present is always a bit more cloudy.

Times of loss, however, do shape us. It may be loss of something we loved, someone special, loss of a situation or loss of a dream, it shatters our security and leaves us with a mark of vulnerability. We then chose what to do with this mark, how it will influence us going forward. Sometimes this scar can seem overwhelming, there have been moments, thankfully fleeting, when living to endure more scars has seemed beyond my ability. Some marks scratch us so deep they light a fire, bestow upon us a gift, unwelcome but heavy with blessing. While some marks we bury, cover over and deny their existence, others we parade as badges of honour, magnets for sympathy, over shouted excuses. Time fades them all, lets our true selves develop and grow, we can’t be stopped, our shoots and leaves will break even the most robust concrete lid.

Who I am today is not who I was 8 years ago, 3 years ago, or even the blurry eyed new mother of one year ago. Who I am today is marked deeply by those times but not defined by them. My past roadmap is written on my heart, etched into my wrinkles and breathed into my blood – to deny it is to deny myself. Equally to live as if the journey is over, the map complete, is to deny the Kate of tomorrow, of next year, the Kate that will read this with wiser eyes a decade from now.

This time of year has always been a bit awkward for me – and in a sort of backwards way I’m glad. I’m glad I can still feel the lump in the throat, the wind that tugs towards the vacuum, the whisper of numbness, because it clarifies the laughter of my son, the love of my husband, the ever present need for something greater than I and the security of my odd little life.

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