Here is your Friday story,

In Kellie’s World

My name is Kellie Bishop. I live in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. I am a wife, a mother, a business owner and an explorer. I have been a travel agent for more than 35 years. I enjoy traveling almost anywhere in the world. I love meeting new people, visiting new destinations and learning something new everyday. I love helping my clients plan their perfect trip and make their “connections” by putting the pieces of their travel carefully in place.

I see possibilities and the bright side of most situations. My darling husband of more than 3 decades doesn’t always see the world from my point of view. We have different perspectives on many things and he once responded to my unsolicited optimism with, “Well, we don’t all live in Kellie’s World!” I laughed and thought, why not? This inspired me to look at why people think the way they do and how that might differ in “Kellie’s World.” I ask a lot of questions, read everyday and rarely watch the news. I keep searching for answers until I find what I want or need to hear.

In 2002, I began a journey for which I had not planned and was not prepared. On a random Tuesday, in the month of July, our gorgeous, funny, sassy, loving, first born child - our only daughter - was in a fatal automobile accident. Police officers told us she died on the scene. My world and my heart were shattered. I wanted the Earth to stop spinning.

I went to Brittany’s room, sat on the floor and cried desperate, uncontrollable, wrenching tears; the pain-filled tears of knowing life would never be the same.  The tears of imagining that I would never hold my daughter again or hear her laughter.  I knew I could never laugh again.

I read, “Grief is a physical, social, emotional, psychological and spiritual reaction to loss.  It is natural, normal and necessary.”  You don’t get over it. You get through it. I began asking questions I’d never imagined I would have. The first one I looked to Heaven and asked was, “What do you do with the rest of your life, when the best of it is already behind you at 43 years old?”

Our son, Ryan, was 13 at the time. The obvious first answer was that I had to keep my sanity and take care of him, protect him and love him through the excruciating heart break and devastation he, too, was feeling.

Each day when Ryan went to school and my husband left for work, I would sit for hours reading, pleading and searching for wisdom from others who had traveled this road before me. I thought of Rose Kennedy and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Then I thought of all of the parents that were losing children in wars and tragedies daily. They survived. They gave me hope that I would too. I read inspirational writings, attended Compassionate Friends meetings and asked for the faith I saw in others. I kept searching, learning and healing.

One evening, two years after the accident, I was having dinner with some women on my husband’s side of the family.  This was an unusual gathering. We didn’t often see each other.  My husband’s cousin, whom I had only met a couple of times, was directly across from me.  While everyone around us was engaged in conversation, she looked at me and sweetly said, “Your angel is always with you, isn’t she?”  I told her I thought she was.  She went on, “I have a message for you.  She loves what you’ve done with her room.”  A big smile came across her face and a single tear ran down mine.  Nothing had changed in Brittany’s room...until that week.  I had moved her bed and replaced her comforter with something bright and new.  No one, including Beau and Ryan, knew that except me!  I recalled that family members told me this cousin was an intuitive.  I hadn’t ever given it a thought.  This was the beginning of my healing. I received a message from Heaven!  They say a broken heart is an open heart.  An open heart and open mind have allowed me to receive even more messages, which opened a whole new world to me.

Five years later Ryan went to college. On the day of his graduation he announced that he was going on to law school and would be moving 1000 miles away. I felt as if my world was being turned upside-down again. I had been putting the pieces of my broken heart back together slowly over the years, but this made it stop once more. Another chapter of my life was coming to an end without my preparation or consent. I hadn’t anticipated the feeling an empty nest would provoke. Again, I turned to words from other mothers.

I longed to grow just as I knew Ryan would be doing in law school. I chose to enrich my life by taking classes online and tweaking my perspective.

My search over the past several years has unearthed so many treasures. One of them is Insight of the Day. I clear out my other email and save it for last so I can savor the wisdom.

I’ve come to recognize the gift in each moment. I’ve found my way back to joy and happiness. I’ve opened my heart and my mind to the wonder and magic that surrounds me everyday. I embrace each brand new baby day with gratitude and love. When I meet new people and they ask me the inevitable question, “Do you have children”, I answer, “Yes, I do. I have two children. One is an Angel and the other’s a lawyer!”

My daughter’s name is Brittany Hope. I often called her Hope. H.O.P.E is an acronym now for Holding Only Positive Energy and Happy Optimistic Possibilities Everyday!

I say, Hope brought me faith, and faith gives me H.O.P.E.

When I plan a trip for someone, I want him or her to love it. When I cook, I have to come from a loving place or it just won’t taste right. When I listen to a friend, I listen with love. Kellie’s World is a positive, loving place that I feel in my heart.

“Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love until you give it away!” ~Oscar Hammerstein II

I’ve had the idea for a website in my heart for quite some time. The sticky part has been convincing myself I had something to share. Maya Angelou said, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” Today, August 1 is Brittany Hope’s birthday. Today the gift I have to share is to welcome you, with love, to my new website, www.inkelliesworld.com, where the sun is shining and there’s always HOPE.

I don’t know your story, yet I know you have one, too. We all have challenging times and need evidence that there is light even when you can’t see it. People say, “time heals.” I think what we do with that time is what heals. You are here for a purpose. You are alive, you are loved and you matter. Please have HOPE. If you don’t feel hopeful today, I’ll hold it for you In Kellie’s World. There is happiness ahead. Keep going!

Kellie Bishop

Kellie Bishop lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with her husband and their black lab, Riley. She is a full time travel consultant in her own agency and has given herself the title of Chief Possibility Officer. Kellie is an avid traveler herself and believes travel expands her awareness and compassion. She knows that happiness is an inside job, that life is a gift and there is HOPE for everyone. She shares messages to provoke thought, humor and inspire as well as some of the tools that helped her to heal and find the road back to happiness again. Please visit: www.inkelliesworld.com 

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