On Learning to Take Nothing for Granted

Dear reader, my name is Courtney Marie and I promise I will write you a less-sad post very soon. I spent all last week planning this whole thing out, trying to decide between making snarky comments about bad journalism, talking about my love for the Oxford comma, or posting excerpts from the first book I ever wrote (Dinosaur Field Trip/age 7). But in light of recent events, I haven’t really been able to think about much else besides my fondness for the people of this town and how we can help heal each other’s aching hearts.

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about: I am part of a tight-knit community in Denton, Texas. It’s a beautiful and inspiring town, and I sometimes overlook the enormous wealth of love and support we are capable of generating here. Last weekend we experienced the collective loss of a dear friend and active community member. While grieving, we’re also in the process of discovering what this loss means to us, individually and as an extended family.

keep denton thrashing ♥

keep denton thrashing ♥


I have had lessons in kindness and friendship, and what they look like in the midst of sorrow.

The love that has been freely given and accepted over the last week has forced me to think about how often I take the people around me for granted. I would like to change this about myself. From here, I want to be more purposeful in my relationships- to be less afraid of losing.

I want to learn how to slow down and appreciate the good times when they’re happening.

Let me tell you something else. I’ve been a writer ever since I could hold a pencil, and I am guilty of taking words for granted, too.

A fellow Dentonite processed her own grief this week by writing and sharing this beautiful letter. I was surprised when a friend asked me if I had written it. I wish I had. Her eloquent sentimentality is heartbreaking and effective in a way that would take me a huge amount of time and distance to achieve with any amount of success. I have always used writing to internalize my deepest struggles and self doubts, but I will readily admit that sometimes it takes me years and thousands of words to come to terms with life’s most difficult moments.

All this to say, words have the magical ability to bring people together or offer release in a way that no other means of coping can. The writer of that letter not only touched my heart (and the hearts of everyone who read it) but reminded me that I am very lucky to have a creative outlet that not only serves me, but that I can also use to help others.

This has been a very difficult year of growing up, of learning to stop taking everything for granted. I think I am finally ready to internalize this and make some changes for the better.

I love you, Denton. I am sorry for your loss. For our loss.

I am thankful that we have each other when the unthinkable happens, I am thankful to live in a place full of people that make it feel like home.

Let us never be too busy to hug each other.

Courtney Marie