The internet is an incredible tool if you use it in the right way. I wanted to share this comment that I recieved on my blog from a young man in Germany. It literally made my day and gave me so much hope in my heart.I hope it can do the same for you. Today is Christmas Eve in Australia. I absolutely adore Christmas and everything about it but Christmas Eve is also my dear friend Corey’s birthday. She would have been 26 today. I can’t help but imagine the incredible woman she would be today but I am so grateful she has made me into the woman that I am. Stories like this prove to me, once again, how powerful it is to share from the heart, to grow from pain and the fact that we simply never know how our lives, our words, and the songs we sing to the world lift others up or inspire them. Thank you for reaching out to me Thomas. I hope you find the strength you need to deal with the loss of your mother. I am so sorry for the rollercoaster of grief that I know you are on. I promise you there are friends all over the world who understand and are happy to listen. I am happy to say that I now am. Now I do know you. I see you. I hear you. Maybe not in person but technology is an amazing thing. I am so happy that Corey, her family and friends and I have had such a profound impact on your life. There really is no better feeling in the world. Here is the comment he left me,
“You don’t know me and probably you never will but let me add sth to your story. I heard about Corinne about 5 years ago. Somehow it kind of touched me from the beginning, to read about it and especially to see how her friends and family try to live on and do the best out of it is very amazing. If you want to find a sense in everything, the sense is shown in the person who you are today. You never know how many lives you saved by just being who are you are and she made you the person who you are today. I had alot of difficult times in my life, especially in the Last times when my mom died suddenly. To the end of my life i will grief about her, but the most important what i learned from you, your story and her family by watching it from far is to celebrate the life. I learned even to be happy to be the the person who i am today, i am proud of myself and this i learned from the story of corinne, somehow she save my life too. You will never know everything but one thing is sure: corinne didn’t save just one life, everyday somehow there are lives saved by her story, by your actions. I will share her story my way with my actions, even if i never knew her she is already a part of my life. I will not save the world, but maybe one soul. Be proud of her, my soul is saved due to her, i will try to do it with sbd else. And you can even say her story is already global, as i am from germany and i think alot of others are out there anywhere in the world which are saved. I wish you and the family of corinne the best.”
Every time I read it, it brings me to tears. I am so proud of Corey and I am so proud to be her best friend. I am so proud of Lisa & Dave Craig, Erin Lighton, Shelly O’Connell, Matt Krohl, Alex Shafer and the whole Ludden/Syracuse community who carry a piece of Corey’s heart with us wherever we go. Lisa and Dave, you guys have taught me so much about resilience and giving back to help your own pain, you two are genuinely super hereos in my eyes.
Lessons learned are only powerful when you continue to use them as a catalyst in your life, long after the initial tragedy happens. I celebrate my life every single day. Traveling and grief have been my two greatest teachers. Pain pushes you, but it’s up to you to decide what direction. People often ask me why I’m so happy all the time… Because I choose to be. I work to be happy. I explore new countries and move around the world, because I discovered how truly happy traveling makes me feel. I force myself to try new things, meet new people, and explore, absorb and cherish the world around me.
I have seen first hand way too many times how quickly lives can end. I have learned how IMPORTANT it is to not use hindsight as my predominant form of vision. I see right now. I see today. I dream and work towards the future, of course. All successful people do. But happy people… Happy people see today. I am happy that Thomas is now a part of my story. I am happy that Corey’s story continues to ripple into the universe. I have traveled a lot in the past two years and plan to travel as much and as far as I can for the rest of my life. I plan to live my life so my story is written exactly the way I intend it to be. No matter how far I go, how many people I meet and friends I make, I will live my life for today. I will live my life out loud. If you know me, you know, I’m never afraid to speak up… But messages like the one I read from Thomas left me speechless.
I took time to gather my thoughts and then I put them into words because words make sense of me. It is truly incredible how alike people are at the core. Ultimately, no matter where you live, how you were raised, what culture you come from, what university you went to, what job you have, people are just people. We need love, comfort, attention, companionship, and challenges. We need acceptance. This holiday season, wherever you are in the world, take a minute to stop and see today. See those people around you. Squeeze them, talk to them, see them for the light they bring to your world, share in their story. Give them what they need. Don’t worry about New Years or taxes or car payments, or losing weight. See today and be happy.
I miss so many people on the other side of the world, especially my precious family but I am alive and well and lucky enough to have wonderful friends to spend the holidays with. I am lucky to have such amazing people to miss. Happy Birthday Corey. Merry Christmas ya filthy animals. I see today and today looks like a beautiful day to celebrate being alive. Cheers mates!!