Hi, I'm Ann, and I'm really happy you're here. This is the story of how the Kingdom of the Kind came to be...it began with a tragedy, but ends with hope.
Before February of 2020, I was content to noodle around with my art and hang out with my family (one teenage son, one dog, one husband). We did a lot of traveling, my son played hockey, and life was normal.
Then, everything changed. My mother was killed, her life taken by my father because he couldn't bear for his wife of over 50 years to continue to suffer with chronic pain and dementia. I was on a vacation in NYC with my husband and son when I got the call, and I promptly fell apart. I don't know how I didn't die myself that day, because I felt my heart shatter with the news.
On the long plane ride home, even in the fog of shock, I kept thinking that I absolutely had to make something good come of this terrible thing or I wouldn't be able to handle it...I would lose my mind. At the time, and in the awful weeks that followed, I couldn't see how anything good would ever come again.
Pain, especially deep pain, has a way of forging you into something new. For some people, that's a bitter version of their past selves, but I knew I didn't want that, and neither would my dear Mama. To honor her, and my own broken spirit, I fought my way through the darkness by looking for the light - the good in the bad - and stayed the course toward it. When I couldn't find light, I became it, and just kept going. Through a pandemic, my struggles to heal with my dad, and multitudes of setbacks, I kept going.
Little by little, I've crawled out of that dark place, battered and bruised, but - I think - slowly becoming whole again.
When you lose someone so tragically, it makes you really think about the meaning of everything. It altered me forever, and put me on a path to be a kinder, more compassionate person, and to seek the answers to life's mysteries. My quest has shown me that life is magical and sometimes wondrous, and goodness abounds if we'll just see it.
So I'm here, showing you the light I've found, and looking for more to share with you. And hoping you share with me right back. Because that's how we tip the scales, my friends, and shine like stars against the darkness.