If there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that life in this world is bittersweet. It always has been and it always will be. I realized this early on and everyday I see further evidence of it. It is something that we all just have to accept.

When I was a boy I cherished my books and toys, but then I lost them all when our house burned down in the middle of the night. Growing up I loved the isolated woodlands and meadows that were my playground, yet more often than not I found myself playing alone. In school I found learning fun and easy, but I never was as popular as I wanted to be. When I played on the sports teams I loved the fun and friendship we had, but I spent most of my time sitting on the bench. In college I enjoyed the excitement of being out on my own, yet my heart still ached for the love and comforts of home.

As I grew into adulthood I fell in love and had my heart broken. I graduated college, but I never gained the success I thought I would get. I had three beautiful children that taught me so much about love, yet I watched my two sons struggle daily with Autism. I cherished the love that my Mom, Nana, and Dad gave me then I watched them all die before I was 50.

Yes, life is bittersweet. It is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, triumphs and tragedies.

Whether life makes us bitter or sweet, however, is up to us. God loves us and He put us here to love each other. This is easy when life is sweet, but it can be a struggle when life is bitter. Still, it is during the tough times that we grow the strongest. It is during the bitter times when our sweetness and love are most needed. It is during the dark days that we learn the most about our own goodness and light. Donít let life make you bitter then. Stay strong. Love much. Live well.

Share your goodness and light everyday and make this world a sweeter place for us all.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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