This is my beautiful cousin, Holly, with her adorable daughter, Maddie.
I took these two photos about 5 years ago at a Thanksgiving Dinner we were having at my aunt and uncle's house.
Last week…on Thursday evening, October 23rd…
Holly's life was taken by someone at gunpoint, while she was alone in her car.
As you might imagine...this is the hardest post I've ever had to write.
This is the most tragic, shocking thing our family has ever experienced.
This blog is a "safe place" filled with ongoing inspiration to celebrate the beautiful things in life.
This post today is anything BUT beautiful.
Which is why I really battled back and forth on whether or not to even share this here.
It's so private and so devastating and so ugly.
But how could I not share it?
This is "Keeping It Real" in the absolute truest sense possible.
The reality is...life isn't always pretty.
There is pain.
There is hurt.
There is loss.
There is suffering.
And there are unspeakable acts of violence committed every. single. day. in this world.
This harsh reality of life is unfortunately my reality right now.
My heart is so heavy.
My family and I are experiencing a tragedy.
A tragedy I only thought happened to other people…
to other families…and certainly only in the news.
(So say all of the many others who have experienced the shock of something so devastating).
Please keep our family in your prayers…if you are the praying type.
Especially lift up little Maddie…who now has to grow up without her mommy.
And pray for Holly's mom and dad…my aunt and uncle.
Pray for Holly's sister Chrystal…and her brother Charlie.
Pray for all of us.
And pray that the person responsible will be found and held accountable.
While we are grieving and working through all of the thick pain and emotion of this…
I'm trying to focus on Holly's smile…and how it could light up a room.
I came up with this today…and I'm dedicating it to Holly!
We're all going to eventually find our smiles again Holly!
Right now we're just going to have to hang onto yours!
Love and miss you!
Give Grandma and Grandpa a big hug for me!!
KEEPiNG iT REAL
With the funeral later this week…
helping with details of a baby shower for another family member…
finalizing Save-the-Dates for an upcoming wedding of a friend's daughter...
and finishing up 80th birthday party invitations for another friend...
you must know my emotions are ALL over the place.