You know those random childhood memories that are so vivid and REAL? Where you can remember exactly what you were wearing and where you were and what you FELT?

I have one of those memories from when I was 5 years old.

It was a summer night and I had on a light dressy nightgown, the kind that made me feel like a Disney princess. 👑

We were living in Boise at the time. My mom is an avid swimmer and we had a large pool in our backyard where my mom would teach swimming lessons.

I remember this one night I was sitting on the porch steps, with the backyard lights all a glow. And my dad was swimming laps in the pool as the sun went down.

Nothing significant happened. But I felt such overwhelming HAPPINESS simply sitting there, watching my dad swim.

🌬 I remember the gentle warm summer breeze coming thru my nightgown.

💦 I remember the sound of my dad swimming. And how PEACEFUL the small splashes sounded to me.

I was in the moment, just happy, taking it all in, grateful to be alive.

I think of that memory a lot.

I think it's a big reason I like to come outside at night, and sit on our back porch, looking back at the house, and watch the water's gentle movements, and listen to the soft sounds of the neighborhood. I feel peace. I feel happiness.

 Find time to do the things that make you happy to be alive.

And today, I need that.

Today, I learned of a Facebook friend who passed away due to a self inflicted injury. This is a girl I never met in person, but one who added me on Facebook seeking help and support.

I've felt heavy all day thinking of her and the PAIN she must have been feeling to take her own life.

I can remember moments I wanted to do the same.

My early 20's were a particularly low time in my life, a time I graced the presence of a mental hospital. A time I assumed I would NEVER again feel the level of happiness I felt as an innocent 5 year old sitting on the back porch watching her dad swim.

I don't know how I made it thru some of those low points. But I do know MANY times since I have felt peaceful and happy. I would have missed out on so much if I had called it quits all those years ago.

 Lets start a conversation about depression and suicide.

Friend, whatever struggles you're going thru, please don't give up. 🙏🏼

Life can be so hard. I know this. But don't give up!! Keep going! Please trust me - there ARE good days ahead where you will feel the peaceful moments again. And it will be worth it!!!!

My heart ACHES for this girl and her family. And I don't know why I'm so emotional over this when I haven't even met her. But I wonder if there's something I could have said to her. I wonder what could have been for this girl, all the future happy moments that she could have felt & experienced. 💔

I trust God is gracious and kind and loving. And this girl will ultimately be okay.

But for anyone out there struggling please please please know, I am not too busy to be a listening ear. And please please remember...... life IS worth living. Keep moving forward. 💕💕

You never know what BEAUTIFUL memories are left to be had.

 You have the power to change how your story will end.