Happily Ever After


When I was little I loved it when my mom or dad read me books. I’d sit in my dads lap and hear him read the story. I had a few very special favorite books but those moments were all very special to me. No matter what book I picked to have dad read to me, I could always count on him finishing the story with those words that made me happy & comforted to hear, “…and they lived happily ever after.”
When I was young, before much of my life became complex and complicated, I thought that in the end, everyone lived happily ever after. Those six little words held such a big expectation. That finishing thought that children’s books and my parents gave my little innocent mind, made me smile and made me happy and ready to live, grow and embrace life. I loved story time with my dad and I loved the sweet thought that no matter what happened in the book, everyone will live happily ever after.

It is the last day of 2012. I look back over the last twelve months and I am grateful to have survived this year. Of all the years of my life, today marks the end of the very hardest of any year I’ve had in my life. This year was a year of great loss. I lost a lot of time, and I lost my brother. Two things that I cannot ever get back, no matter what I do. This year, I watched myself fall down harder than ever before. For six months of this year, I lost my freedom. But through these losses, here at year-end, I do have things that I am grateful for…

I have learned some valuable things this year. (I say this smiling… because these wisdom’s that I have acquired are so important to me and through learning these things, I have truly found my spirit again and made peace with lots of things in my life, in my past, and I am not only living free, living well, and living my life again, but I am living free of guilt, resentments, and regret. Yes. I have made peace with my spirit, and it feels so good.) A few of the most important things that I have learned this year are; the value of time. Time is so precious, use it well because you never get it back. I have learned that forgiveness starts within. Until I forgave myself for the things that I have done, real healing couldn’t begin. Today, I know how to forgive much better than before. I have learned that love is the greatest gift you can give yourself, and another. And it is the greatest gift anyone can give you. So, today, I not only live wisely, but I love wisely as well.

It is the very last day of the year and I sit here thinking about the things that don’t make sense. Why is my brother not here. Is he in heaven? Can he hear me? Is heaven real.. is it beautiful? I have to tell myself that maybe I’m not supposed to know those things. I’m not ready for those answers yet. And when the tears fall for Dave, when I can’t stop thinking of him and how I need to hear his voice so badly, when I think to myself, how can I live my life without my life partner? My brother, I grew up with him. We were always there for each other. People come and go, but my brother always had his sis and I always had my bro. What am I going to do now…? …I tell myself that I will get to see him again someday…just not today…my time here is not finished. I think that I’ll always cry for my brother…those tears will never stop.

On the last day of the year I think about my dad and how he read to me and Dave when we were little. …”and they lived happily ever after…”, I can still hear his voice. What will I make of the next twelve months? I can say with some confidence that, this year will be better than the last. Nothing will ever be as painful as losing my brother, so I know that this year, I can only go up, move forward, and keep on living. I know that, sadly, not everyone lives ‘happily ever after’, in fact, few do… but there is hope. What can I do this year to make my life really great? (…I start to smile again…)

This year… I will live. I will love. I will move forward. I will choose wisely. I will remember the things that have taught me great lessons, and the things that make my soulshine.

This new year… is the first year of the rest of my life.

I say goodbye to 2012. Close my eyes. And when I wake up, I know exactly what I’m going to do. I know that I probably won’t live happily ever after, but I can sure as hell try.


~ Jen Lefever

569705421582196979_H7Cwil4z_b …and she lived as happily as she allowed herself to be…


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