Every year brings another chance for remembering. In the beginning, it would start in February. The knowledge of the coming April, the anticipation of the pain that is coming. It’s been 17 years since that day that changed my life. Over time, the anticipation, the terror of the memories has lessened and starts later on. Sometimes I even forget…almost. But this year is different. I have a son now who will eventually have to go to school, who will inevitably be in harms way at some point. That reality changes how I remember, how I feel about today. The thing with memories is that they never truly leave us, especially the painful ones. The memories morph and change to reflect the process of healing and the changes in life, but they never stop haunting your mind. I know the pain and the fear will most likely never fully disappear, that is the result of surviving trauma, but as each year passes, I will grow stronger. As each year passes, I will learn new ways to cope, I will find new ways to love myself and take care of my heart, I will find new reasons to push forward. Each year brings pain, but in that pain, I will find a reason to keep hoping, to keep living. WE ARE….

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