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Family, Faith, Pixie Dust, and Mountains

I wanted to start this introduction on a much different note. My intent was to introduce you to me, to the three important parts of my life pieced together to create my Bare Necessities. The bits of me, when combined create the whole of me. The essential components of my life that make me who I am. My Bare Necessities are family, faith, and pixie dust.

My family, faith, and pixie dust combination may not initially be what you would expect. My family grounds me, keeps me whole. The laughter, joy, tears, and stories are as a part of me as breathing. My faith helps me keep perspective of the world, refreshes my soul, and guides my day. Finally, pixie dust – I’m talking the pixie dust magic a Disney fan can relate to. A huge Disneyland fan, I’ve grown up around all things Disney for as long as I can remember. The magic, the wonder, the joy – all of it. Not only have I absorbed this into my life, but I’ve instilled it into our family and children for nearly a quarter of a century.

Then, life happened. A horrible life altering phone call, that sent me home from work, booking and catching the next available flight out of town, and feeling as if each moment another part of my life, soul, and all I’ve known is being ripped apart with no rhyme, reason, or solution. There is no way to escape this new reality, it is mine for the unknown future. But, let me also share what I’ve learnt during this time.

First, people are amazing. In these life moments, the kindness of a stranger can bring tears of thankfulness felt so deeply, that saying, ‘thank you’ seems so inadequate. The moments when a doctor bends rules because her empathy and own experience outweigh process and protocol, and again, ‘thank you’ is inadequate. The kind neighbor who introduces herself and offers to help where you don’t even know where to start. These people (and many more) bring the other kind of magic to life. It’s not quite pixie dust, it’s better. It is the realization that humanity is good, kindness is still real, and we are not alone in our journey.

Then, there is family.

Family who holds my hand, guards my heart, silently sits in the corner of the room absorbing information (to help discuss at a later date), as currently my brain can only comprehend just one more thing… Family, who reminds me to eat, sleep, and breathe. Family who recalls shared stories of childhood, memories of better times, laughing, and finding joy in unbearable moments. Family who continues to ground me in the most difficult of moments.

Family also reminds me that life is hard, and it throws rocks ranging from pebbles to mountain peaks. The little pebbles are easy, we can crush them with our feet and just keep walking. Other times, these rocks are mountain tops, seemingly unbearable, they were sent to weaken, detour, and crush us; but - those are the mountains we climb! Yes, it’s a struggle, yes, I’ll stumble, fall, and perhaps get hurt along the way, but I keep walking, climbing, and facing forward. Faith compels me to carry on, to keep walking, climbing, not stopping in the middle of the journey.

But, pixie dust. Pixie dust is that moment, when I reach the top of the mountain, that first step onto the plateau where the world below unfolds, and the view is incredible. The moment where the struggles are realized as temporary, the angled rocks, boulders, and slippery slopes are no more, and breathing (if only for a moment) so deep my lungs completely fill with peace and a thankful heart. That is the real pixie dust, the ‘magic’ created out of despair, the realization hope continues, life carries on, and we (as people) continue to rise amongst the struggles.

My hope in writing this raw moment, is you too find your Bare Necessities. You find what keeps you grounded, brings you peace, and what your pixie dust looks like. Pixie dust may shimmer, sparkle, and shine, but those shining moments may just be from a stranger, your family, or, at the top of a very difficult mountain.

Shellene Cook.

Family, Faith, Pixie Dust, and Mountains © 2022 by Shellene Cook is licensed under CC BY 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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