Today is my birthday. I used to think it was negative to expect, or even desire that people go out of their way for you on your birthday. I grew up hearing that this was a day unlike any other and the rest of the world didn’t really care. But, today, ESPECIALLY this year, I learned they do. There are SO many people who care. And being cared for, is blissful. My phone and Facebook page were filled with literally over 100 messages of care, and love. Each one, noted and stored in my memory. Each one a bit of salve for my soul. So, THANK YOU. Thank you to D and my girls for my awesome sign in the hotel room, and for my new piano music. Thank you to my close friends watching my house while I’m out-of-town. Thank you to P, for my incredibly creative and AWESOME birthday package. And to each of my friends for their texts, their “I miss you!” and “I love you!” and “Happy Birthday beautiful!” messages. Those messages mean so much to me. This birthday has been the best yet… and I expect that every year after will now also be just as awesome. I can’t wait to come and party with you all! I truly have the greatest friends ever, and the very best people in my life. I am so, so, SO lucky!
I spent today at the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland. I spent it with my girls and one of my best friends. This was exactly where I needed to be.
A few years ago if you’d asked me about what I pictured my life to be in 2, 3, or even 4 years, I never would have said where I am today. I have gone through some of the biggest struggles of my life. Some of the greatest betrayals too. Ones that I thought were impossible for any human being to commit. But since those realizations, it’s been about finding a way through the struggle. As a child, I had a book about going on a lion hunt… every challenge the boy comes across, he mentions, “Can’t go over it, can’t go under it have to go through it”. The focus is on experiencing whatever it is he comes across. Not going around them or over them, but experiencing them and then moving on to the next challenge. What great advice!!!! Life is not about circumventing our trials. It is about embracing them, then finding a way through them, and then, probably most important: moving on.
The past couple years have been a journey of redefinition of myself: of my role as a mother, as a daughter, a sister, a friend, and as a human being. I’ve learned that the greatest forgiveness yields the greatest joy. That when people are unhealthy, you can still choose to love them, and accept them. That even if you love and accept someone through forgiveness, this does NOT mean you have to maintain a relationship. You do NOT have to love and accept their choices and those subsequent actions. Loving and accepting someone does NOT mean you have succumb to their demands either. I’ve also learned that people will surprise you, if you let them. I’ve had more random acts of kindness in the last 2 years, but I believe it’s because I’ve looked for them. People are all around you, willing and ready to show their compassion, if you just accept it. Learning to accept help has been a great struggle for me, and something I continue to struggle with, but, I have learned that doing it all on my own robs others of their desire to help, robs me of the lessons I could learn from someone else, and robs my kids of the chance to see how others live their lives and make decisions. My new way of life, and looking at relationships, has allowed me the freedom to move on from things that have troubled me in the past. That freedom is invigorating and inspiring. I’m so glad for the challenges I’ve been given. They’re exactly what I needed. =)
I’ve also learned that I have the greatest capacity in me. That I CAN do anything; a knowledge I didn’t have before. I have a list of places I want to see before I die. Disneyland with my girls was one. San Fransisco is another. I’m knocking those two out in one week. I can’t wait. Already, this trip has been one chock full of memories, laughs, giggles, smiles, and JOY. A joy I wasn’t sure existed still. But it does. And it will continue to. I’m insanely grateful for being able to take my girls and show them that life exists after trauma. For them, and for me. Regardless of what’s happened in the past, you can move on. Never forgetting the trauma is inevitable, but realizing that life exists and is still so beautiful after has been a whole new realization.
Yesterday, as we ran through ride after ride in the park, the elation on T’s face was AWESOME. It was so refreshing. It was as if my sweet girl was whole again. Like no one had ever touched her. Like everything in life was perfect. During one of the rides, I watched T control how high we flew, and saw the excitement and wonder in her eyes, and heard her happiness through the endless giggles. It was like breathing life into my soul. Life is so rich. It’s just waiting for us to take it all in. And just like that ride- we control how high we soar.
As we watched the end of the night fireworks, and listened to the narration, Julie Andrews said, “dreams really do come true”. That my friends, is true. It has been my dream and greatest desire to give T back what was stolen from her. And the past three days, I have. And the next lifetime, I’m going to continue to. I want to show her all the most beautiful things in the world and experience them-together. Because the joy I see on her face gives me the hope that anything is possible. Because the happiness in the last 3 days, has healed my heart in a way I never thought possible.
Thanks to all those who made this the best birthday ever. My heart is so full right now, I could burst.
Dreams do come true, hearts do heal, there is love and life after struggle and pain, and you CAN do anything!!
All my love,