Share your story and your journey and know these are your life lessons; don’t leave them untold. My parents, taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. They were my best cheerleaders.

In high school, I got my manicure license while finishing Cosmetology school so I could make an income while attending school. I received my Cosmetology license and went to my favorite salon to see about getting a job; they asked me if I was there to buy the salon—6 months later I bought my dream salon. First goal met!!

My salon was in my home town, and friends stopped by to get their haircut and visit. It quickly became a very fun and successful business, along the lines of the old TV show “Cheers.” Shortly after I met my first husband we bought our first home—another goal met. Our first daughter was born—a dream come true. Life seemed good. Sixteen months later I was expecting another baby, and we were very excited. From the beginning, something felt off. I kept telling my doctor, but he didn’t seem to worry. When I went in for my last appointment and went into labor about three weeks early, I got a C-section, and things quickly progressed for the worse. My baby girl passed away at birth, but the doctors revived her.

My sweet baby girl was born with Hydrocephalus (water on the brain). The feelings I had during my pregnancy (that the doctor dismissed) was her enlarged head. At that time, ultrasounds were not as common. The doctors and therapists advised us not to bring our Courtney Nicole home, as they were sure she would not live long; they gave her less than a year. Our world had been turned upside down along with our marriage. My husband was a mechanic, but he could not fix our little girl. This was hard on us. Our daughter passed away at 11 months and shortly after, we divorced.

I was the rock for my oldest daughter. Think of the songs “I Am Women” (“watch me roar”) and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (“to make me break”); I used to hear those in my mind. I went through several battles during our divorce and we were able to settle. It was a difficult time, but I always turn to a couple sayings, “pick yourself up dust yourself off and keep going on” (from my dad) and “fake it till you make it,” when I’m feeling low. That’s what kept me going and, of course, my daughter Brittany.

Six months later I met my husband that I’ve been married to for 29 years. Of course, I need to say I was not looking—I was living my life, working and, quite honestly, trying to survive.

We met at the Northridge mall where he was remodeling; I had driven in there because I saw displays that I thought might work for my salon. Yes, I got my display and a husband, but not for many years. My husband says he knew that day that he was going to marry me, and he also fell in love with my daughter (and she him)—a very important component for a marriage.

We hit a few more brick walls through the years. My husband had several brain surgeries and I got Chickenpox, which turned into Meningitis. I was paralyzed from my waist down, and then I got Valley Fever and became paralyzed again. As always, I “picked myself up and dusted off.” We got married and had three more beautiful children. I sold my salon. I am a hair therapist in Westlake, a distributor for a great non-smudge makeup and skin care line, and the host of the Kim Pagano Show, sharing “the brighter side of life.” Now in my 10th year, I’m awed that the show has opened so many doors in my life.

We are blessed with four grandchildren: identical twin boys, an adorable grandson and our first granddaughter. Every day is a gift. We all get taken off course. Live with your navigator tuned to positive. I’ve learned to look at the brighter side of life, even when life might not be so bright.

Join me on my radio show or podcast or visit my website, to tune into the brighter side of life.