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Updated: Jan 3, 2023

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I hope this Wednesday finds you empowered, energized and ready to give and receive all the love and happiness you deserve to experience today and beyond. Each minute is precious. And as minutes turn into hours and days, we don’t know exactly what the next minute will unfold. Just minutes after I released last Wednesday’s email, I received a barrage of bad news. It was ALL about loss, including loss of income, loss of health and ultimately loss of life. That’s the one that hit me the hardest – learning that my cousin had died. It was devastating news.

As a little girl growing up in Long Island, New York we would often travel to Harlem to visit his mother, my Aunt Ruthy. I would catch glimpses of my cousin in photographs displayed in Aunt Ruthy’s apartment as David was usually out with friends or working. It wasn’t until I became an adult, married with children of my own, that my relationship with cousin David grew. He’s 12 years older than me and by then he was married with children of his own. David was there for me when I needed him the most. One such time was when my husband and I, along with our two sons, were traveling from our home in Atlanta to New York for Stephen, my oldest son’s opportunity to participate in what can best be described as a world-wide bible education work. Stephen would reside in one of the New York branch facilities and we needed a place to stay for about a week as we prepared for Stephen's move. David opened his home to us without hesitation. A few years later, when my youngest son, Aaron, was invited to participate in the same world-wide bible education work, my cousin David's son, David Jr. and Aaron connected and continued to build our family's bond.

Hearing of David’s death crushed me. He had officiated when my Grandfather passed – my favorite person in the whole world as I was growing up. The dignity and honor that David bestowed upon Grandpa Price was inspiring, heartfelt and genuine. So to hear of David’s passing was like all of the forces of evil had guns loaded, cocked and aimed to shoot all of the life and energy right out of me. My flesh felt weak and unattached, as if it was falling from my bones like soft meat after simmering for hours in a crock pot. It was paralyzing physically and mentally. I didn’t even know that David was sick!

But here’s the thing. When I spoke with his wife, and his 3 daughters, all of whom are now grown with children of their own, their voices were filled with hope. Of course, they are grieving, but they are powered with hope and knowledge of better things to come.

That’s the anomaly of life. We face challenges. The unexpected. We push past the heartaches and stop to embrace all that’s good along the way. We live. We hope. We survive. In the weeks, months and years ahead, focus on and celebrate the positive. Don’t remain in a hole of despair when grief throws you there. It may take time, but sooner than later get up! No matter what you’ve been told about your existence, or what has happened to you to discourage or disempower you, every day is a new opportunity – a new possibility – a new probability. Stay Woke! Make sure you are there to experience it all!

Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living a heart-breaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s beautiful.

L.R. Knost

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