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717- A Reason, A Purpose, A Reminder




I have always loved John Lennon’s quote, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Something about it has always brought me comfort, a friendly reminder of getting past the bad.


But, when you are going through the bad, the last thing you want someone to tell you is that things will be okay because, at that moment, it is so hard to see past how bad it is in the present. I want you to know; it is okay to sit down and give yourself a pity party. It is okay not to want to see past the present for a moment and to give yourself time to say, “MAN, THIS SUCKS!”


I still cringe a little when I hear people say things like, “I don’t know how you got past this” or “how did you do…” because you do not have any other choice when you are in certain situations. How did I get past it? How did I do it? I did not have a choice, that is how.


Sometimes life does not give you the lemons to make lemonade. Sometimes it gives you the Manager Special of discount meat and tells you good luck.


I would be lying if I said there aren’t still times I get upset, jealous even, of what everyone else could experience in life the last five years. I try not to live in the negative moments of those years, but sometimes I need to let them out and feel those moments to remind myself of where I am today, who I am today.


Since 2016 I have lost a child to a trisomy 17, had tumors take over my uterus while losing that child, had a dad be diagnosed with a terminal disease, die, have a mom diagnosed with cancer. I mean, come on. Sometimes I think to myself, if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry because none of that seems like it could happen to one person.



So how did I get here? How do you get yourself out of rock bottom? How do you turn yourself around? (Obviously, the hokey pokey. Hehe.)



Let’s go back…back to the beginning (… Laguna Beach, anyone…no just me???)



Thor was born via c-section. When I became pregnant for the second time, there were some early complications, and the “due date” was just a vague conversation since we knew I would be delving at 39 weeks and picking the delivery date. So, during the pregnancy, I would say that I was due mid-July because I was not scheduling the delivery date until my 20-week appointment.


You with me there? Good.


Well, now that you understand that aspect of my side story, I can fast forward to a year after Ton was diagnosed. My mom and I were in the car, and she mentioned how he kept seeing the numbers 717 everywhere.


Weird, right.


So me being me, I need to bring it up and know more and get all the details because things like that are intriguing, especially when it comes to something that is so noticeable Ton mentioned it to my mom. I knew it must have been something that was often happening for him to notice and bring it up.



Type-A Sabrina comes out and pulls up Google, and right away, I see articles regarding 717 and Angel Numbers. You can google it yourself and interpret any aspect of any of the articles out there, but for us, it was extremely comforting to feel as if Ton had a guardian angel looking over him. That the reason he saw those numbers was for him to know he was being looked after, that he would be okay.

From that point on, 717 became an extra little something in our family and found comfort today.

When you are going through hard times, it is nice to have something that can bring you joy or make you smile when it shows up. My favorite time of day is when I catch the clock at 7:17 and say, “Hi, Ton,” and smile, feeling like for that moment in time he was with me.


July of 2019, a few months after Ton passed away, I was thinking about 717, thinking about the baby I lost and the due date that I never actually knew. I started to think back on when I found out I was pregnant when I thought I would deliver, but it bothered me that I could not remember the actual due date. For days it was on my mind, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the idea of needing to know the due date out of my mind. I reached out to my OBGYN’s office, and my mouth dropped when I received a message stating, “the estimated date of delivery was 7-17-2017”. 717.



It was the first time since in years that I felt peace. I finally made sense of the whole “things happen for a reason.” I have said it a million times, and I will probably say it a million more that Ton loved being a Papa. He was a great dad, but him as a Papa was even better.



Was this the reason I went through all of that? Was the baby’s purpose of greeting Papa and allowing him to continue the role he loved dearly? I think so. I find comfort in believing it is.

July of 2020 rolled around, and the pit in my stomach is there again.


Ton’s birthday and what could have been a birthday give me so many emotions, and to be honest, I struggle throughout the month. There is something about the entire month of July that feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest.


I think it’s the yearly reminder of Ton being stuck at the age of 64 or how many candles I should be getting ready to put on a birthday cake. It is also the feeling that the further it gets, the more challenging things become to remember, followed by the guilt of not remembering.


Grief is weird. It is not something someone can teach you how to handle or explain to you on a calendar or clock when and where it will hit. It comes in like a kid after recess looking for a snack, fast, and on a mission.



Last year though, enlightened me on my purpose. There had to be something good to come out of all this bad…right? I had to have learned what I learned for a reason. I have to believe that I have gone through the trenches to help others see the clear path.


I would rather believe that my shoes were covered in dirt to allows others the chance for theirs to stay clean because then all of this was worth it.


The last five years have been hard; at times, they have, frankly, just sucked.


So, how did I get through it? How did anyone do it? We did not have a choice. Did Ton wake up and say, “today is the day I want a terminal disease,” or did my mom say, “you know what, let’s add cancer to the mix”? No way.


We cannot control what is handed to us, but we can control what we do with that hand.


If you are going through something, give yourself the okay to be mad, angry, and sad. Throw the pity party. I will bring the balloon if you need them! We cannot control the sucky things that come our way but finding the reason, the purpose, the 717.



Finding those things might not make sense right away, it might take longer than you plan, longer than you want, but one day when you least expect it, you will look at the clock and see something that makes you smile too. That is when you’ve found your purpose. That is when you will start to let go of the anger behind your story and find gratitude in the fact that it made you who you are today.


So, get your shoes stuck in the mud because have you ever seen clean shoes leave footprints behind?


Leave your marking, make an impact, and realize that all along this was your purpose too.

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