“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaving and company doesn’t mean security. And you begin to understand that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. And you begin to understand your defeats with your head held high and your eyes open with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child. You learn to build your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn you really are strong and you really do have worth. And you learn, and learn, and learn, with every goodbye you learn.”

  –Veronica A. Shoffstall