This week was a heavy one for the world. The devastation of Nepal’s second earthquake and the attack on the Ismaili Muslim community in Karachi were felt from miles away. And locally, a little girl named Florence Marigold gained her angel wings but left behind a community clinging to faith through their grief.

I started writing this post last night with my heart in the pit of my stomach, and I went to bed past midnight, past my bedtime, asking for inspiration to move through this feeling. I know myself. I know that I will feel things really deeply. I know that someone else’s loss and grief becomes mine. I know that an attack on a bus full of people on the other side of the world feels like an attack on me and everything I value. I know that my empathy can bring me down and keep me there awhile. I literally have to knock things off my to-do list because I am too overwhelmed. And that’s OK. It’s who I am. (P.S. If anyone tells you, you are ‘too sensitive’ tell them, thank you. They’ve just named your greatest gift.)

I’ve learned to just go through it. To cry, to get angry, to question, to go silent. And I’ve also learned to ask for guidance and for strength. I ask for inspiration: How can I shift my perspective to find love and hope? And how can I send those things out to the Universe?

This #3ThingsThursday post is not the one I wrote last night because I am in a different place today. I’m looking for those positive symbols. Here’s to starting fresh.

#3ThingsThursday is a blogger linkup hosted by Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch. If you wish to write about 3 things from your week that you’d like to share, visit one of their sites and add your link! These are some of my favourite posts to read. How about you?

1. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Canada: Moms in Training 

LLSC offers training programs for moms who wish to participate in fundraising runs to combat blood cancers. These training programs are flexible to meet the child-care/scheduling needs of moms, plus offer a great opportunity to build a community with like-minded mamas. There are 5 km, 10 km and half marathon events happening between June and October of this year; if you’d like more information, please contact Alice Reyburn 604-733-2873 ext 5207 or visit

[Tweet “There is strength in being a voice, a presence, a light in someone else’s darkness.”]

2. Michaela Evanow, Florence Marigold & Gwendolyn Strong Foundation

On Saturday night, I learned that 3 year old Florence Marigold, whose smile, twinkly eyes and resilience I have been admiring on Facebook for the past year and a half, passed away from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 1. Her mom, Michaela Evanow, is a brilliant writer and the perfect voice for the community of grieving moms. Michaela’s strength through vulnerability in her posts and pictures has touched thousands of people, all over the world, who are now holding this family in their hearts. I’m having a really hard time writing this; my words are stuck. I have no way of explaining this loss I feel, as I told Michaela in an email yesterday. So, I’m focusing on strength. Strength doesn’t mean we don’t cry. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel. It means we do those things as we move forward.

Michaela would like you to know about Gwendolyn Strong Foundation – they are doing some incredible things in SMA research. And they really are so close to finding a cure! SMA was selected by the National Institutes of Health – out of over 600 neurological diseases- as being the disease closest to treatment. You can support this work in finding a cure in all the ways listed here, plus you can shop their apparel store and spread awareness by wearing an inspiring message.

Just look at beautiful Florence! All I see is Love.

3. My mom

The last few months of my mom’s life, her health was at a rapid decline. In January 2009, just two months before she died, I was home in bed with a high fever. It was the second or third day of this awful bug and I was pretty much bed-ridden with no appetite, aching and shivering. But it was just a bug – something I knew would leave my system. My mom insisted on my dad driving her over to see me. I couldn’t believe it. She could barely move without pain and was so weak, but she refused to hear it when I said I would be ok and she should just stay home. Though I was feverish, I remember clearly, her sitting on the edge of my bed, hand on my legs. I told her she shouldn’t have come – what if she caught whatever I had? “I wanted to see how you were doing,” she responded.

That’s the love and strength of a mom.

4. More symbols!

I guess this is a bonus since I’m technically only supposed to talk about 3 things. Goes to show that symbols of love and good are abundant, if we just look. And look where I found them this week:

I had entered a Facebook contest put on by Love Those Shoes…and won! I got to choose from a huge selection of beautiful infinity scarves, and it didn’t take me long to pick these two.

The butterfly is the greatest symbol of authenticity: becoming who you truly are.

[Tweet “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. ~ Carl Jung”]

And the doves…how can we not see peace when we see these serene, pure-white birds? Sending white doves from my heart to wherever they are needed.

Nature truly inspires us to remember the greatness of who we are and from where we came. Even in the pain and suffering, we have to remember…and be symbols of everything good.