As I lay here I am reminded to count my blessings.

Sometimes when life has been difficult, stressful, and full of grief it is easy to focus on the negative.

To focus on the sorrow instead of the joy.

To focus on the bad instead of the good,

To focus on what’s missing instead of what’s present.

Today I am reminded that while my life has had it’s share of sorrow, it still has plenty of joy. That my life 7 years post loss has more good than bad. And while my late husband is missing so much, I am blessed to enjoy every moment of this life.

A little boy I love more than all the moons in the skies and who loves me more than apple pie.

The ability to travel and make wonderful, new memories.

Wonderful friends and family who have been by my side in my darkest and most joyous days.

A new husband and bonus daughter to share this life with.

Yes, my life has been difficult, changing, and sometimes downright sad since Jared died but it has also had moments of joy, laughter, and love.

Sledding with Steven as snow landed in our hair and laughing.

Dancing for the first time and loving it.  I didn’t realize how much I missed dancing.

Sitting around the firepit with people I love enjoying each other’s company.

Making memories with my family as we check items off on our bucket list.

Even with all the laughter, love, and joy in my life, I still miss Jared.  But I know he is never far.

Like that first Thanksgiving when my dear friend made a star to honor him and left a place setting out to remind us that Jared is always welcome at her table.

Like the CF rides, Green and Blue Day, and Jared’s angelversary  when so many help honor Jared’s memory.

Like when I heard Jared’s voice plain as day driving a snowmobile through the continental divide.

When Steven laughs and sounds just like his dad. Or wears his dad’s hat and looks so much like Jared it takes my breath away.

When my new husband and bonus daughter help us honor Jared on his birthday.

So today I am reminded of my numerous blessings.

Does that mean I forget the sorrow? No.

Does that mean I am over my grief? Nope.

Does it mean that I realize that every new adventure is bittersweet?  Yes

I am acutely aware that I must make a conscious choice to embrace life.

To realize life after loss can be bittersweet and that is ok.

To know that while I love and miss my late husband, I still have a life to live.

To cherish all I have because life is to short to do anything less.

Jared may be gone but he lives on in my memories.  In my heart.

And that is a blessing I count each day.

LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!!! Have you heard about Hope for Widows Foundation’s annual virtual Widows of Hope 5K on May 15 and 16? Registration is now open! For details, FAQ’s and to register/support go to: Anyone can join! Whether you are a widow, widower, or a friend/family member showing support, or walking in the loss of another family member, everyone is welcomed to participate. The deadline to register is May 15, 2021. The proceeds will directly support widows directly through their annual financial Restoring Hope and Peace Grants, Sunshine Boxes program, and our Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program.


Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.