When we hear the term “moon walk,” our minds immediately think of entertainer Michael Jackson and his famous dance that has become a classic. But there is a literal “moon walk,” and a few days ago, it was 40 years since man landed on the moon, July 20, 1969. That anniversary brought back a torrent of memories, most of which made me sit in disbelief that so much time has passed so quickly and my life has changed in ways I could never have imagined, both good and bad.

I know where I was at the moment they landed on the moon…my husband, 3-year-old daughter and I had gone to Tucson to visit friends for lunch and sat fixed in front of their television set watching all that was happening. We were so young and innocent as we watched what we thought would be a future of moon walks and other exciting events in outer space during our lifetime.

But time has a way of bring us down to reality. Although we had a comfortable life during those years, we didn’t make a fortune in the stock market of the 70’s and 80’s. I didn’t become a writer for a large newspaper; I taught writing instead and produced my own newspaper for many years. My husband and I grew apart and divorced. And my daughter, who had a wonderful childhood, didn’t live to fulfill her dreams of having children, a career, traveling or a life with her new husband. All my family members are gone now except for a few cousins; good friends have died needlessly from illnesses or accidents; the world has experienced more wars and terrorism than imaginable.

Seeing the film footage of man landing on the moon again brings me to tears because I think of all the good that could have come from science and technology, yet now we have to worry about threats from countries with nuclear bombs. I think of the days of innocence when we all left our home doors unlocked so friends could come in and visit any time of the day or night. And it was okay to let your child play at the park with friends and not have to think about child abductions and worse. I worry about our future children and what kind of world they will be living in.

And, of course, I relive my life with my daughter, the great relationship we had, and think of all the wonderful things she accomplished in her short life and how I will always miss her. Since her death 15 years ago, my life has changed considerably. I did do what I wanted: write a book, but never dreaming she would be the impetus for it. I did lots of traveling, but all the time wishing she could enjoy the trips with me. I had a successful teaching career of 28 years. And I did finally meet the love of my life six years ago and never knew I could be so happy.

I now realize how happy my daughter was with her husband of four short months, looking forward to a bright future. Sometimes I even believe I am living the life she would have, doing the things she would have, meeting new friends and fulfilling dreams I never thought possible. Sometimes I even find myself using words and phrases that would have come from her mouth. I smile because I know she will always be with me, encouraging me to keep going and do whatever makes me happy.

Shine on, silvery moon. I may not see the day of moon travel for all of us, but I know, because my daughter lived, I am a better person, and she is smiling down at me from somewhere up there.

Sandy’s book is “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye,” 25 stories of hope and survival after the death of a child. Visit her site: www.sandyfoxauthor.com and read more about the book that you can order from Barnes and Noble.com, Amazon.com or Centering.com

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Sandy Fox

Sandy Fox has won four finalist awards for her recent book "Creating a New Normal...After the Death of a Child" with over 80 coping articles and a huge resource section. One award is from USA Book News in the Health/Death and Dying Category for 2010. The second award is from ForeWord Reviews in the Health Category for 2010. The third is from Royal Dragonfly Book Awards. The most recent finalist award is for the self-help category of the 2011 Indie Book Awards. She is also the author of another grief book, "I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye." “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye” tells the stories of 25 sets of parents and how they moved on with their lives after the death of their child, offering hope and survival techniques. Sandy has headed two national bereavement conferences for childless parents and spoken for many years at Compassionate Friends National conferences, POMC and across the U.S. to a variety of bereavement groups. She also writes articles for the Open to Hope site, EZ articles, and Journey through grief newsletter in addition to her own weekly blog: www.survivinggrief.blogspot.com. Sandy can be contacted at sfoxaz@hotmail.com to set up any speaking engagements or to ask any questions related to surviving the death of a child. Sandy was a guest on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart“ discussing: “I have no intention of Saying Good-Bye: Coping Techniques for the Now Childless.” To hear Sandy being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley010407.mp3

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