When I was thirty one my fiancée and I were struck by a crisis that tested our love for each other and thrust us into a realm of circumstance which sent our lives spiraling out of control. Over time, however, the tragedy helped us emerge with a greater understanding of life and became the inspiration and serves as the Introduction to my first book, A Grandparent's Gift of Love, True Stories of Comfort, Hope and Wisdom.
In writing A Grandparent's Gift of Love I learned that in order to change and improve my future, I must understand where I went wrong in the past. It's often embarrassing to admit our mistakes. Throughout my twenties I attempted to appear foolproof, convincing myself that everyone experiences a few hurdles in life and that I wasn't immune from making bad decisions. What hurt me most was my refusal to acknowledge where I had gone wrong. It was easier to turn my back on my mistakes and hope that my hard work meant good fortune was forthcoming. Yet, one of the greatest lessons I learned from the most significant crisis in my life is that I couldn't turn my back on pain, especially when it involved someone I love.
Most of us can remain in denial about our past mistakes and even unfavorable circumstances, which are steadily unfolding in front of us. But when it involves the suffering of someone we care about most, we plunge in, immersing ourselves in the situation and usually emerging from it a little wiser for the experience.
The trauma my fiancée and I endured made me realize how important it is to listen to the advice of individuals who speak from experience. It was the wisdom of our grandparents that helped us persevere in the days, weeks and months after that event. And it was their insights that compelled me to seek other stories from the minds and hearts of society's wisest members.
The greatest gifts, if we choose to accept them, is the wisdom gained from someone else's years. Our gift in return is to take these hard-earned truths, add to them and endow the generations who follow.