On Friday morning, Richie’s little sister, Chelsea, and her wonderful husband, Ben, welcomed their first child—beautiful Hadley Michelle—into the world. We are all SO THRILLED over this new addition to our family. She is perfectly perfect in every way. We can’t wait to love all over her and watch her grow into a generous, playful and kind-hearted woman, just like her mommy with a wise, committed and happy heart, just like her pop. We love you, sweet Hadley girl. Welcome to our family.

I had to take some time off to do just a little bit of this, living that is.

I needed to fall apart just a little.

I needed to have a good, long cry—to face the messy parts of what is.

I needed to shake some of the sorrow up to the surface, and exhale it away. . . or inhale it in. (I’m not sure there’s much of a difference with grief.)

It’s been 2 years now, almost 3, but usually it feels like last Thursday.

I go through this madness, thinking I shouldn’t be falling apart anymore. It’s foolish. What will people think? How will they react when they know the truth? What will they say when they know that sometimes, no often, it still hurts like Hell? That sometimes, no often, I still feel like I’m suffocating underneath it all?

. . . and then the sun comes out.

And then despite the rain, despite the thunder and the lightening, despite the begging and the longing and the bargaining and the pleading . . . through all of that weight. . . there’s light. And you know, somehow, someway everything truly is OK.

Out from under all.that.pain, you’re watching a miracle unfold. Right there in front of you. Layer by layer. Breath by breath.

And the miracle. . . is you.

You breathe in deep, flooded with inexplicable gratitude—oxygenating your very soul. Suddenly, for the first time in months, your feet hit the ground. You see all the pieces of yourself—the pieces of your sanity— and you know you can put it all back together again.

A day ago, or even a moment, you wouldn’t have believed.

Now, here it is. . .

Right in front of you.

The miracle of you.