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     I want to thank you all for your continued support of our family during the holidays. We experienced many firsts without Megan, many of which were no different than all the other days we have spent without her. We have a huge hole in our hearts and our lives. She was the light of our world. I am reading a book by Sherry Burgess called "Bronner, A journey to understanding." Sherry is the wife of Rick, from the show Rick and Bubba. They experienced the loss of a child, too. In the book she states " Heaven has my heart, my baby and my God. It is the land of the living and the kingdom of light. In contrast, earth is the land of the lost and of the dying.”

These words are powerful and true! Sherry also said these words and they are exactly how I feel : Megan is in a place that I have never been to and cannot go right now. But oh, how I long for that place more and more each day. I long for it like no place on earth. You know when you have children you have so many wishes for them; for them to be healthy, happy, grow up loving the Lord, fall in love, start a family of their own and have a long, happy life. This was my plan for Megan, but God had something different in mind. My plans were made with no idea of what the future would hold for Megan. I couldn’t see what God could see. I didn’t know what God knew. I wanted her to have the best of God AND the best of this world. What I am learning is that although God gave me children to enjoy the blessings and learn from them, He has plans for them I know nothing about. My children don’t belong to me. God created them and he has a unique calling on their lives! I feel as though I could have written these precious words.

 

     What it all comes down to, what really matters, is how you live your life on this earth and how you show God's love daily. Not just through your words, but through your actions. Do you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind? I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loved Megan. I know that he could have chosen to heal her on this earth but he chose to give her the ultimate healing instead. What I must remember is Megan was a gift. Instead of being mad and upset that she was taken away, I must be grateful for having that gift in the first place. Additionally, understanding that something is a gift means handling it with gratitude! This doesn’t make things any easier, but it is making some days bearable. Megan was a beautiful gift, pure and simple. I thank God everyday for giving her to me. Even though it is very, very hard, I am doing my best to learn this now. I can see only two options, either dwell on the fact that she has been taken away and that she is gone forever or focus on the wonder that she brought as a gift to us all. I can learn to be grateful that we shared life, even for an all-too-short nineteen years. None of these alleviate the pain, but somehow put some light into the darkness. I am surrounded by reminders of her-things we did together, things she said, things she loved. Alabama football and Jason Aldean were two of her favorites. Boy, did she love Alabama football. Roll Tide, Megan! I know your smiling at that win!

 

     So, thank you for your prayers, letters, phone calls, text and friendship. Please continue to pray for us daily!

 

     I also wanted to remind you of an upcoming event! Megan Smiles Foundation is preparing for our second annual SMILES FOR MEGAN 5K. It will be held on APRIL 30th. SAVE THE DATE! We had over 500 participants last year and are hoping for more this year. This is our biggest fundraiser for our foundation. Megan's foundation is a 5013c non profit organization. We help local cancer patients ages 19-25 with non medical expenses. Our website is up and running! Our mailing address for donations is:

 

Megan Kelley Smiles Foundation
P.O. Box 1416
Andalusia, Al. 36420