Ashes are what remain after a fire has consumed something.
Several years ago I got a tattoo of a phoenix on my shoulder. Now– before you judge me and condemn my soul to eternal fire for having a tattoo of a mythological creature on my body, just keep reading. Also, don’t “major in the minors” — this blog is not meant to start a debate on tats and mythological creatures. It is written to bring hope… I hope.
Several years ago I went through a time of self-inflicted tragedy. I took a torch from the fire and set my life ablaze — and not in a good way. When the torrent of the consuming flame finally died out, all that remained was ashes. Where life had once flourished, now only ash. Like walking through a home that had just burned down, I walked through my life only finding bits of broken and burnt pieces. All around me were ashes… and more ash. But although beaten and bruised, I gritted my teeth and rose from the ash heap with the help of those around me. It was hard and the process was long and grueling, but eventually faith rose from the ashes to ignite the phoenix.
This has been the hardest year of my life. I don’t say this to incite pity, but instead hope. I have had five funerals in the past couple months. Friends, sons and fathers have passed. Once again, I walk through the house and pick up the bits of broken and burnt pieces. I look around and see ash seemingly as far as I can see. My teeth are gritting… You know the rest.

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