A personal note…

We all go through things in life; being human means that we are sometimes called upon to face challenges that ultimately shape who we are, and who we are to become.

Some of you may know that while I’m originally from the Midwest, the majority of my adult life has been spent in Malibu, California. Although my husband and I moved to a nearby town last year, Malibu still feels like my home town. It is where I lived for 42 years, raised my son, and have countless friends and acquaintances.

A week ago, our family home of 26 years was lost in the fire that has taken 600 homes in our wonderful town. I hesitated to share this with all of you because it is a private part of my life, but in talking it over with my husband, he reminded me that if I’m to stay true to my message–that being human can be hard and that we all feel a little flimsy sometimes–I wanted to let you know.

We are fine. We are not in the same situation as countless friends who lost everything in one fell swoop and are bouncing from cousin’s house to hotel as they shop for socks and underwear. We are insured. We don’t need anyone to start fundraising campaigns on our behalf. It will take time, but we will rebuild. And… at the moment, I’m a little wobbly.

Malibu is still under evacuation so we haven’t been to the house or seen the wreckage in our community. I’ve seen pictures, and they are devastating. But the town has come together in extraordinary ways. Those who stayed behind saved the homes of as many neighbors as they could. People from nearby communities have been bringing food and water and generators by boat to those who stayed behind since all the roads are closed. Humans are at their best when they come together with love.

I hope that if you’re going through a rough time you’ll reach out for support. Yesterday I was doing pretty well… and then I wasn’t. My husband was at work and my son wasn’t reachable so I sent an SOS to a few friends. One of them called back right away and just sat with me on the phone while I cried. And then the cloud lifted, and I did the dishes and made dinner.

I’ve hosted support groups for people who lost their homes in Malibu and Ojai fires and I know that grieving is a bumpy road. Healing takes time. But whatever we’re struggling with is more manageable when we don’t go it alone. Please…if you’re facing a tough time, reach out for support. You may be surprised by who shows up if you give people a chance.

I am so thankful to have work that I love, and will carry on offering parenting programs and events in the coming months. This loss will become part of the fabric of my life, no doubt adding an understanding that although we aren’t in control of life’s twists and turns, we are always better together.

With my best,
Susan 

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