My senior year of high school, three weeks prior to graduation, one of my best friends was killed. The woods surrounding her neighborhood obstructed the view at the train crossing. When she crossed the tracks on her way to school, her car was struck by a speeding train. The impact snapped her neck, severing her spinal cord, which left her brain dead by the time she arrived at the hospital. Her family removed her from life support not long after.
To this day I can still remember the range of emotions raining down on me through that storm. I thought I would drown in my grief. I’d never felt pain so intense or missed someone so much. Had I seen this quote at the time, I certainly wouldn’t have believed there could be a rainbow.
Yet it was this very storm, the loss of a friend, that taught me about rainbows. You see, I had never met my friend’s family. The first time I said hello to her mom and dad was at her funeral. But in the months following her service, I was able to spend time with her parents. They invited me to their home. I baked cookies with her mom and went fishing with her dad. I attended cookouts and Christmas parties. I became a part of their family. Together, we all began to heal.
Although losing my friend was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced, it was also the key element in creating a relationship with her parents; two people I love and adore. They were my rainbow following the storm.
Since that time I have endured many other storms. I have had friends walk out of my life, divorced the man I believed to be my Prince Charming, my daughter was diagnosed with Autism, and my favorite Grandma passed away long before I was ready to say goodbye. Through each of these storms, I felt alone, scared, insecure, isolated, etc. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, much less a beautiful rainbow.
In time, however, I made new friends. I gained confidence in myself and embraced life as a single mother. My Autistic child is the sweetest, most caring person I have ever had the privilege to love. And although nothing can ever bring my Grandma back to this world, she visits me in the realm of my dreams, and she has taught me to not take life for granted, even for a moment.
Learning to search for the rainbow following the storm inspired me to write my first novel, Embrace the Storm: The Guardians of Bliss. The main character, Jessi, faces many more storms than any one person should ever have to endure. Her journey helps her to learn the same lesson I have learned over the years: Every storm in your life is followed by a rainbow. You just have to be brave enough to look for it!
If you’ve found the rainbow after the storm, I’d love to hear your story. And if you haven’t yet learned to search the sky for the rainbow, let me encourage you to persevere.
Don’t give up; it’s out there somewhere…
And if you’re curious to discover how Jessi’s story turns out, let me be the first to recommend following the link below. Perhaps her journey will help you with your own.