On my thirteenth birthday, I received a colorful and fun gift. The toy was a plastic bubble filled with gumballs. Levered arms controlled by buttons on the outside allowed the user to capture the gumballs like an arcade claw machine. I was thrilled. I took it to my room, retrieved my first few gumballs, stuffed my mouth with gum, and then. . . . I heard a catastrophic "snap!" A crucial part had broken. Being cheap plastic it could not be repaired.

I can't fix that.

My father had major life-saving surgery in 1963. They replaced his aorta from his heart down into the groin with some type of dacron material. Over the next twelve years, he'd have several more surgeries to repair the repair, including the eventual loss of a leg. Finally, they told my mother they couldn't fix it any more. My father passed away in 1975. I was fifteen.

I can't fix that.

Around that same time, I tried out for high school majorettes. I didn't get picked even though I had been twirling baton for five or six years and won many trophies. It could have been politics. It could have been "not meant to be." It could have been because they didn't want to team up with a girl whose father had just died. Whatever the reason, I didn't get in. I had aimed for that goal since I began twirling, but it never materialized.

I can't fix that.

Winter Queen DP 331470778 XL

My cousin, Tommy and I were very close near the end of his life. We had shared some fun adventures together including him teaching me to drive stick in his Corvette. In 1981 while letting another friend drive his car, they went off an embankment, rolled the car, and Tommy died at the scene. Most of the car's remains were picked up and chucked into several garbage cans.

I can't fix that.

Whether trivial, tragic, catastrophic, or death, we face many things in our lives we can't fix. We can't reverse the past. We can't make what happened unhappen. It's out of our hands, and in some respects, out of God's too. No amount of prayer is going to reverse it. No matter how much we cry, stomp our feet, yell, scream, protest, or sue. It doesn't matter if what happened was right or wrong. It doesn't matter if it was enacted by man or by an act of God.

We can't fix that.

What we can do is move forward. When the sun rises the next day, it's our chance to decide what to do next. Heart 1 DP 362239696 XL

Illness and death have hit our family many times. Our MO has been to pull up our boots, pick up the broken pieces, and life goes on. For some of you, your MO may be to allow yourself time to grieve. You may turn a blind eye and pretend it didn't happen. You may become an advocate for change. You may be on the front lines of helping others who face a similar situation.

I've always been a "fixer." I want to help people. I want to change what's broken. But there are many things I can't fix. There are many things I shouldn't fix—even if I could—because, unlike God, I can't see the whole picture. I can't see how a particular situation will mold lives. 

I think the important thing is to keep moving forward; see where this road takes you. I lost my father, but later met my stepfather from whom I learned a few things. I didn't make high school majorettes, but I kept twirling and traveled all around the country and Europe doing so. My cousin died, but my first son carries his name in remembrance. (I don't know what happened to the gumball machine. Maybe it's purpose was to remind me. . . ) I can't fix everything.

Let go of what you can't fix. Work on what you can. Strive to make your life the best it can be.