[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"] Happy Friday you guys! Today's wish is for happiness! What makes you happy? How do you know if you're truly happy as opposed to just kinda happy? These are all questions I've been exploring in my journey lately and the answers change daily. It can be frustrating but like a friend said to me last night, follow your happiness...she's a smart cookie that one!

So I've been thinking about what makes me consistently happy and here's my quick list of things that put a smile on my face....the sound of kids laughing, dessert, my boys, books, a fireplace, good food, shoes, unexpected texts from friends that make me laugh out loud (Maria), doing nice things for other people....(it doesn't take much really).

Speaking of doing nice things for others, it's also Pay It Forward Friday, so I thought I would combine the topic of happiness with it. You may recall my post from the other day on health when I touched on my friend recently losing a loved one. Well, that loved one was an important person in our community. She was a selfless, giving, caring, loving person until the very end of her life. Her name was Kerri. She was a nurse practitioner at one of our pediatric offices. She was the first person to examine my son when he was born. I remember when she came to our apartment, (a perk of the practice we belong to used to be for them to make a house call for the first newborn visit home from the hospital), we were first time parents with a bunch of questions that she walked us through and put us at ease. She had a way with her patients and was a shining light in the practice and with her family & friends. Kerri leaves behind 2 sons, Conrad, who is 27 and works at the same practice she did, and Gage, a very active 11 year old. Conrad will now assume guardianship for Gage.

Losing a parent is never an easy thing, especially for a young boy, especially around the holidays. I can't even imagine what these guys are going through. They have been watching their mother power through cancer for the last 11 years, never skipping a beat as she endured treatment after treatment, surgery after surgery. She always had a smile on her face and a positive outlook. She worked, traveled and supported her boys until she couldn't. Her family and friends rallied around them and were there until she went peacefully to rest on Tuesday morning. A fundraising page has been set up for the boys to be able to continue their lives as normally as possible. For today's pay it forward is for Gage and Conrad, for their future, for their mom's memory. Below is the link to read Kerri's story and to make a donation. Maybe it can restore a little happy in their lives....