Thursday, September 16, 2021

His name is important


Since relocating to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont a few months ago, I have learned that the opioid epidemic and addiction has its grips on many that live in these remote towns just as much as it thrives in suburban and urban communities. Nowhere is immune and these areas seem to have less availability and access to local treatment and support, making it even more devastating. In the past three weeks we have learned of three deaths presumed as overdoses within our region; three families lost a loved one to this disease.

Every person who is affected by addiction, be it the person who suffers with any type of addiction or the people who know, care for and about them, and/or deeply love them has a name. They are not a number; they are not just any person, they are individuals. People, human beings with a past, present, and and often uncertain future. What we all must remember, and I believe acknowledge, is recognition of and respect for each one.

I know it is simply not possible to know everyone personally however it is possible and easily done to take a moment to think about who this number might be, what their name is, who they are when we hear of someone who has lost their earthly life to addiction and what their family must be experiencing with the knowledge, the last time they spoke to or saw this person would be their last, at least in this lifetime.

Names have value, they are chosen for you at your birth, are often the first thing you learn when you meet someone new and the way we start a conversation about someone who has left this life when we share a remembrance.

This reflection is dedicated to one of the lives recently lost, a man I never had the pleasure of meeting however I know his name. He was born, lived, loved and was unique in his own special way. He loved his parents and grandparents, all of them, his son, his extended family, his friends, and those he worked with; helping people who lived with addiction find and maintain sobriety. He loved the outdoors, and I am certain the stories shared about him are just as full of joy, hope, and laughter as they are sadness.

The loss of his life is a tragedy, although his family is able to find some comfort that he is at peace, it does not lessen their loss or the cumulative loss of yet another blessed life force to this disease for which there is no cure.

This glorious spirit animal greeted us on the sacred ground directly over where his ashes have been lovingly placed…

His spirit will live on in the hearts and souls of those who continue to share his story and remember his love.

Divine Creator Spirit

of beings both great and small,

we give you thanks for this life

and for the unity of all.

When a spirit returns to you

And we are left to grieve

Let us be joyful and see your presence

If only we believe.

Today and everyday know that each and every one of you are loved and valued for who you are and always will be!

With a peace filled embrace xox Kristyn




Monday, July 12, 2021

Hillary's 30th Birthday, surviving a terminal illness

Just over a decade ago, I wasn't sure if Hillary would live to see her 20th birthday; let alone her 30th. Addiction is a disease that in too many cases is terminal when left untreated. 

Today and everyday I count my blessings that Hillary chose to get treatment and chooses everyday to never forget she has a disease that could kill her if she doesn't consciously take the steps necessary to keep the disease in 'remission'. 

The hardest part of loving someone with this disease is your inability to choose for them. They must always decide for themselves and it is painful to watch them in constant struggle, nearly die and in the most tragic cases leave this life forever. 

Today I thank God for my precious daughter who is alive! 

Hillary's smile lights up a room, her laughter is infectious. She is the most caring, compassionate and loving mother to her boys and Nova. She has found a kind and devoted person to spend the rest of her life with in Sean and embraces all the joy life has to offer. She never does anything half way which is why she is still here in this life determined to be the best everything she can possibly be and share her best with others. She has seen the dark side of life which makes her even more grateful for all that she has. 

I can confidently speak for all those who love Hillary when I say with the most sincere heartfelt gratitude, thank you Hillary for choosing life, this world is a better place because you are in it!

Divine Giver of life,
we give you thanks for the gift of Hillary
and the blessing of healing.

We humbly ask for your continued blessings
on Hillary, all those affected by the disease of addiction,
and all those who love them.

Keep in your care those who reside with you in Spirit 
and provide comfort for those who suffer with the pain of addiction in this life and
send your infinite love to smooth the edges of  the hole the loss of a loved leaves behind.

Now and forevermore may you feel the love of God, the Divine,
 the fully unknowable surrounding you
and may all who live with this dreaded disease
live to see another day, week, month, and monumental birthday!

As I offer my gratitude for Hillary, I share in the sadness of loss faced by the mom's who now celebrate remembrances of birthday's past. I hold you in my heart and soul, pray for your healing with the truest belief in a higher power who holds them until the time when we are all reunite in Spirit.

Peace be with you
Love you always

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I'm Selfish

 I’m Selfish

Anger, frustration, sadness, and fear were predominant feelings I carried through 2020. I realized this morning that I had not written for SOS since January of last year.

I am truly sorry. I have prayed, I have painted stones and I have given them away; however, I have not written. The energy surrounding the stones is still there and I am always sending love and support to those affected by addiction and those who love them, as are the many others who are part of our community.

I left my post, figuratively and literally. The overwhelming feelings of dis-ease felt by our world have entered my spirit and caused me to lose sight of the light that I embrace and serve and caused me to seek solace in my own space instead of the world of openhearted kindness that had driven me in the past.

I have not written because the little voice that inspires my thoughts, words and deeds has been relegated to a place of silence where that voice, my voice, is no longer relevant and can no longer make a difference.

I have gone through the motions, awoken each day to news of disaster, death, and despair.

I had moments of joy that were quickly stifled by news of yet another atrocity.

My pendulum of anger toward others who did not share my beliefs and shame over my judgement of these same others sent me into even darker times emotionally, physically, and most importantly spiritually.

I relapsed… I promised myself years ago that I would never enter the dark times that held me captive for so many and yet that is exactly what I did.

On the surface like so many others, I appeared to have it all together; offering words of hope with a smile, all while internalizing my heartache over our wounded world and the insurmountable suffering that occurs every second of every day.

Yet again, this morning’s headlines sent me spiraling even before I lifted my head off the pillow.

I have been selfish my entire life, I want to change the world all by myself. I want to wish and will away marginalization of all people with a nod of my head. I want world peace and I want it now.

This may seem like a Pollyanna attitude; I call it selfish. I want what I want, and I want it today, I am tired of waiting; I have been waiting my whole life.

I gave up last year… without even realizing it I stopped trying to change the world. I stopped sharing my thoughts because I decided they no longer mattered. I allowed my fear to replace my joy and I take full responsibility for my actions.

Being selfish is both a blessing and a curse depending on what you want.

Right now, I want to find my way back to believing in the Spirit of love, compassion, unity, kindness, grace, and mercy; the Spirit of God that finds connections in division and serves to guide all people toward a future that holds more beauty on the inside that is reflected on the outside.

Light must prevail and sadly at times we must walk through incredibly dark passages to find our way back to the light.

I believe these are those times. I am searching for the light and I can no longer be selfish. I must do my part to do my part and I am I am begging you, to help me; please. I can not do it alone.

Ed and I dug this out of the frozen ground on Sunday.
 It is by far the most anatomically correct heart shaped rock we have ever found;
the heart of the world is in our hands, please hold it carefully.

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all

has been my family’s motto and the premise for the SOS community since it’s inception. We can do this, we can achieve peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, and peace in our world, one individual thought word and deed at a time.

Please help me, today when you are faced with anger or fear replace it with a way to love. In stead of focusing on a problem, take a moment to find a solution and do your part to implement it any way you can.

Don’t lose sight of the joy that is surrounded by the light of the world.

I am still here, you are with me and together we can change the world, I promise, one simple act of kindness at a time.

Thank you for listening, I am eternally grateful for all of you and the privilege to serve.

Be safe, be well and know that you are loved.

In love, k