With Ashley's birthday coming up in October, it got me to thinking about why I started this blog in the first place. I sometimes feel like the purpose has sort of been lost in translation, between all the pointless rambles and current favorites, so I wanted to take this opportunity to dive back into those overwhelming emotions I was feeling back in the Summer of 2012... the emotions that pushed me to start this blogging journey. On June 14th 2012 I witnessed one of the most terriblychilling moments of my life, my sister taking her last breath. I can't form words that can appropriately depict the rush of emotions that burned through my body. I was 22 years old, starring down at Ashley's lifeless, stiff body, as the doctors told us "there is nothing more we can do..."- was this a feeling of sadness? anger? For the first time in my life I was introduced to this new feeling, a feeling of complete hopelessness. I walked out of her hospital room, unable to continue looking at this unfamiliar body laying in the hospital bed in front of me. I mindlessly began walking down the the sterile, emotionless hallways of Cleveland Clinic, each fluorescent light seemed to flicker along with my constantly changing thoughts. Thoughts about what I would do next. About other people who have dealt with situations like this, situations where, at such a young age, they had dealt with so much hardship... but all these situations I was thinking about, ended the same... these people all fell into drugs or alcohol, or shut themselves off from the world. I had just watched my sister die, would I be another person to add to that list of, "oh her? yeah she went downhill after that tragedy, she just couldn't handle the pain." Would I fall into that dark hole? I began to just accept that fate, I mean, how will I continue my journey of life knowing there will always be a huge chunk of me missing? I wish I could give my readers a better understanding of how I was feeling during this time. I have always enjoyed writing and being able to bring my words to life, allowing the readers to feel as if they are experiencing exactly what I am writing about... but I have nothing for this situation, no elaborate explanations, no big, extravagant words... all I can seem to conjure up is that it sucked, and absolutely no one should have to experience that type of pain. I somehow ended up back by her room, standing at a halt by the door way. All the limp bodies, crying inside her room were a blur to me, my vision was tunneled towards my sister's body, and it was the only clear thing that met my eyes. At that moment, I knew I had to keep fighting, I knew I had to stay as strong as possible. I can't tell you what changed my thoughts, or how I was able to come to that conclusion- I like to think it was Ashley helping me along, transitioning over the strength she held onto for so long, to me. I stopped looking at Ashley, that wasn't her anymore, and walked into the room, over to my mother. I picked her up from the chair she was hunched over in, and wrapped my arms around her as tightly as possible... I became the rock for my family that day. I knew we couldn't fall apart. So I started this blog to explain my story, and to help teach people, through my own hardships, that things can get better. Your days won't always be filled with darkness, and you will eventually find a reason to smile again. There are days that are still a struggle for me, but I have grown to understand that, that is only one day- it won't be like that forever. Feel free to reach out to me at any point if you are dealing with something difficult- no hardship is too small, I am always here to listen. If you would like to read more about my story check out the about me here.