Marco Shemwell Foundation

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  • Liz Shemwell

Clouds, Rain, and Sun


Recently I was in a group where the question was asked - would you consider your life to have more rainy or sunny days?


A friend of mine (who has seen plenty of rain) responded that her days were more sunny, but even when storms roll in she has learned to dance in the rain. Beautiful, right?


A few years ago, I would have said no clouds in sight. Not that I didn’t have struggles or problems, rather I’ve always been a glass-half-full kind of girl. I get that sunny disposition from my Dad. I’ve often said that he had sunshine flowing through his veins. Dad was always so positive, upbeat, happy and cheerful, though he had much to feel down about if he chose. Until the day he died, my Dad would greet me every morning with a call, voicemail, or text that began, “Good morning, Sunshine!” The best times were when we were together in the mornings. He would have coffee waiting for me, and as soon as he saw me walk into the kitchen, on the patio or porch (the best places to have morning coffee), he would utter those words with a bright smile. I can still hear him say it.


Having weathered many storms in my life, especially recently, my answer today sounds more like a typical spring forecast in Kentucky — sunny with a chance of rain.


I can see the sun, I can feel the sun, I know the sun is there. But grief hangs in the distance like an ever present cloud. I never know when it might roll in, or how long it will stay, but it is always there. Sometimes, it comes in as nothing more than a small shower and passes quickly, leaving little damage behind, and helping things grow after it moves through. Sometimes, it’s a constant drizzle of steady rain. Neither big nor small, but hangs around all day as it weighs me down. Other times, it blows in like a hurricane set out to destroy everything in its path. It stings, it hurts, it beats me up and knocks me down. It takes my breath away.


Grief is like a cloud that never leaves. Even on my sunniest of days, the cloud of grief will always be there. It is a constant reminder of loss, pain, and suffering. And sometimes, it brings storms so huge they drench me and knock me down…but, I get back up.


Because after every storm, always comes the sun.


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