About 16 months ago I opened a package from Padre Island, Texas. 

It was from my good friend Jodi - a "suitcase of love" - about thirty little packages or gifts to open when the days just seemed too hard. 

It was a beach themed box, so suffice it to say I loved absolutely everything, but among  my very favorites were a black wrap bracelet, and this:

A little glass flip flop.

If we've crossed paths at all this year, you've seen them. I rarely take off the bracelet and I've never taken off the flip flop.

I couldn't.
Until now.

Because that flip flop was my tangible hope. It was something that I could wear, see, feel each day. It was my constant reminder that someday this cancer wouldn't be every breath we took. Someday, we would be back on a road trip, back to the ocean, back to living.

There were so many people that gave us hope this past year - and we are forever grateful, because more than anything else, it's what got us through - hope.

Today I got to watch Rico dunk Kooka into the ocean. And then I took my necklace off.

 (But I put it right back on.)