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And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
– Mumford and Sons, After The Storm

I love that song, and it always makes me think of my older sister Nellie. She went through kind of a rough patch awhile ago. It seemed that she just had a run of bad luck when it came to love and finding a decent man worthy of her time and attention. During that time, I was having my own love affair with Mumford and Sons and listened to After The Storm on a daily basis. When I stopped to really listen to the lyrics, the above phrase jumped out at me and it was just her. I knew then that she would find the “one” and live happily ever after. A little while later, she met Bryan and they got married and today they are finding out whether their baby is going to be a girl or a boy. So, she probably doesn’t actually have flowers in her hair, but the rest is true.

Now, it is my baby sister’s turn for a rough patch. She’s had a few in the past. Disappointments mostly, little boys masquerading as men, which we all know is a disguise that one can’t wear forever. Emily is a guarded one, and doesn’t jump into the lake of love head first. She dips in a toe and if it feels too cold, she shakes that toe dry, grabs her towel and moves on down the beach. I don’t blame her. She is a single mom and just doesn’t have time for the nonsense. She seems to expect very little from men in order to not be disappointed when they don’t come through. I guess it makes them easier to let go of. I can really only think of two or three guys that she has genuinely cared for in her adult life. She can come across as too hard, too tough, unwilling to bend… but when she does decide someone is worth it all, she cannonballs into the deep end and will swim against any current forever. She fights for love, she compromises, she works, she gives everything, she really tries. So when love fails her at those times, it proves especially difficult.

I don’t have a song for her yet. Not that the first one wouldn’t work for her too, but I know I’ll hear something one day that will be so… Emily that it shoots hope for her love life directly into my heart. Until I do, I’m just going to try to lift her up with other quotes that I find fitting.

“You know, a heart can be broken but it keeps on beating, just the same.”
― Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.”
― Tupac Shakur

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”
― Steve Maraboli

“You are going to break your promise. I understand. And I hold my hands over the ears of my heart, so that I will not hate you.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, Deathless 

“It was strange, really. A couple months ago, I had thought I couldn’t live without him. Apparently I could.”
– Gabrielle Zevin

“What’s meant to be will always find a way.”
― Trisha Yearwood

“Why shouldn’t I hate her? She did the worst thing to me that anyone can do to anyone else. Let them believe that they’re loved and wanted and then show them that it’s all a sham.”
― Agatha Christie

“I wonder how many people don’t get the one they want, but end up with the one they’re supposed to be with.”
― Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes

And the one that I feel is MOST important:

“There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.”
― Shannon L. Alder

I struggle sometimes with the whole, “everything happens for a reason” thing. Part of me feels like, DUH. Of course you can say that because we aren’t able to see what could have been, only what is. So, obviously you can find a reason for bad things if your life has any semblance of good in it.

But then… I look at my sons. I look at two boys who I at one point thought would never exist. I cried and cursed and hated people for three long years while waiting for a baby. It felt so unfair and so wrong that everyone else got to have children while I couldn’t. Now, if I would have had the honeymoon baby I wanted, I’m sure I would love him or her with the same fierceness I love Truman with… but the idea that it wouldn’t be Truman… ugh, it makes me sick to think about. I am so incredibly thankful it happened how it did, because I ended up with him. He was meant to be mine. It was part of some plan that I can’t pretend to understand, and I don’t have any desire to pick it apart. Grant came pretty easily after and why? Why no delay? I have to believe it is because he was ready for us at that moment, and he too was meant to be ours. I can’t regret the three years I waited to become a Mom because that would mean regretting the amazingly perfect kids I have now. In fact, I can’t regret anything in my past because without any tiny part of it I would not be exactly where I am today. I love where I am today. So… yeah… I guess I believe that everything happens for a reason. Or at least I believe that we will eventually be thankful for the lessons we learn along the way… even the hard to understand and incredibly painful ones.

I’m excited to meet the man who is out there waiting to fall in love with my sister. I know he is going to be amazing, because she is. I can’t wait to have her feel so at home in his heart that the rest of these experiences fade away into the background of her life, no longer sources of pain just distant memories, lessons learned. I can’t wait to hear her song and know he’s coming.

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