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Not so long ago, I sat on the couch in our living room for hours on end staring at the same black and white photograph I share with you on this page.  I remember the day it was taken; how light and carefree I felt, how I was fully present in the moment.  I love the photo because it had managed to capture the passion and love I feel for my husband Steve. There’s something magical about the way our hands are tightly interwoven and the intimate laughter we’re sharing.

But wrapped in a hand-knit blanket in the fetal position day after day, I wondered if I’d ever feel the same passion again.  I wondered if I’d wear red, I wondered if my hair would grow back; it had fallen out in handfuls due to stress.

Our beautiful son Declan McAndrew had died and a part of me had died along with him.  Six months after his death I was diagnosed with Paget’s disease and had a partial mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.  While my love and passion for my husband had deepened and matured in a way that only those who’ve lost a child and a breast can know; it was my love and passion for life that seemed to have been lost forever.

It took well over a year to sort out the puzzle of my life.  I had to re-examine each piece and decide if it still, “fit” with my philosophies:  Did I still believe anything was possible with persistence and hard work?  Did I still believe that everything happens for a reason; that life unfolds exactly as it’s meant to?  Was I still convinced there were no coincidences?

My cup was completely empty; there was no overflow to share.  And just when I was beginning to lose faith that I’d ever recover the capacity or desire to inspire others again, my kindred spirit Michelle Dunk fanned the tiny embers in my soul until a spark returned.  Declan McAndrew Publishing Ltd. and the magazine you read, was born out of Declan’s death.  It’s a concrete manifestation of Michelle’s encouragement, love, and support paired with Declan’s beautiful spirit.  Michelle has been one of my great champions and I will forever be indebted to her for helping me pair my passion with the purpose to inspire others on a world scale.

Having come full circle in questioning all of life, I now believe more than ever, that it’s essential to live our lives to the fullest with all the passion we can muster.  Heartbreaking losses, as I continue to explain to our children, go hand in hand with living passionately and without fear.  And so, if you’re facing a loss in your business, health, or personal life know that it’s temporary.  It may not feel like it, it but it will eventually pass. And when it does, celebrate all that makes your heart sing.

In this issue, I invite you to learn first-hand how the passion you have for your dream needs to be protected (pg. 45), nurtured (pg. 67) and sometimes re-ignited (pg. 60).  And, I wish for that passion to be so intense that you, like Don Cherry, will be oblivious to the voices of critics (pg. 54).  Like Steve Wozniak, pursue projects that are noble and pure (pg. 62), and like Silken Laumann, understand the power of letting go (pg. 50).

When you pair passion with purpose you’ll be able to accomplish more than you’ve ever dreamed of!  So dream, dream huge, and with single minded focus, pursue it with passion.