Four years later, when Peyton's father wanted to remarry, he went to his daughter first. The 10-year-old said she needed more time to get to know her father's bride to be, so he waited. When Peyton said she was ready, Doug proposed. That same night, Peyton wrote a letter welcoming her new mom. Awesome! The love exchanged among Erin, Peyton, Doug, and his new wife, Cheryl, was so authentic it made us all rejoice when we witnessed it on the show. That's what love does: It fills you up, mends the tattered and broken spaces in your spirit. It makes you feel whole. Not everybody has an Erin Kramp in her life, but love is all around and ever available. I know this for sure.

Sometimes in the thick of life, when my call list is longer than the day and people are lined up waiting for meeting after meeting, I just stop. I still myself. And look at a tree. A flower. The sun's light reflecting off the window. And I remember love is available. I inhale it, exhale, and get back to work.

I recently reread an e-mail from Mattie, dated 11/22/2001. He was 11 at the time. He'd recently seen The Color Purple (the movie), and he wrote, "This year my mom and I are both wearing purple for Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for things like safety during terrorism, for food and material things like that, and for the people in the circle of my life, like my mom and Sandy, the Moxes upstairs, and you. For things that God has given us, just because we are loved. Purple. Gentle breezes. Crickets. Shooting stars. Laughter. Feathers. I'm thankful that things are, so while we are, we can have gifts every day if we just open our hearts and spirits to them."

Words of wisdom from an 11-year-old.

Look around, feel the love.


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