Today is New Years Day. And I can’t help but feel rejuvenated, excited, hopeful, and energized to start a new chapter of my life’s story.
Yesterday I sporadically recalled moments of 2013. A lot of them came with exhaustive, grief-stricken tears. Of relationships and friendships lost or changed, of challenges that felt insurmountable. So much of 2013 was a struggle that I felt would never end. To relive motherhood’s worst nightmare, a second time in my lifetime. To sever the ties of relationships that I poured so much into, with people whom I love so much, but who I cannot live among their toxicity. To feel so much void, not just from my own struggles, but also in the struggles of my sweet girls who are innocent in all the chaos, but so desperately trying to accept their redefined life. To have a mother’s guilt, of watching your children suffer and not being able to do a damn thing to fix it. To watch someone very close to me, a mother in my life, face her worst fear and close out her year bald from chemo, but still so beautiful. To remember the trip to home to my Oklahoma for the sweet memorial service of a great man, who shaped the amazing girl I get to call my best friend. Yesterday was filled with so much emotion-wracked reflection. But it was also full of smiles. Smiles from all the other times… like picking live lice out of the girls’ heads for hours on end. And remembering the crazy months that led up to one night full of love and hope for cancer patients– a night that I orchestrated and directed with the help of some awesome people. And later this year to attend a very special little girl’s “cancer-free” party, while simultaneously remembering her sweet angel friend, who had passed on. Both girls were part of that neat night where the love in my heart for them and their courageous families first sparked. And also to remember the hope for my Mama V in her own journey, and to smile at her ferocious spirit. Remembering the ridiculous weeks of crawling up and down the stairs in my new house, accompanied by the girls with my giant boot and gimp foot and a pair of crutches. The crazy times of dance parties in our new tiny kitchen with that damn boot on and two girls’ giggles; those still mean so much to me. Of crazy times watching in awe, as my girls and little nephew communicate in their own way to each other once a week on GChat. Of the girls’ first camping adventure, and all the road trips of 2013. The weddings I shared joy in by catering and making the cakes for… something I swore I’d never do, but that started with Mama V telling me I could do it. All of the crazy, fun, ridiculous, and exciting memories led me to smile at the best parts of this year. The joy, the happiness, but most of all the love, that was poured into my life in 2013 is overwhelming and inspiring. To consider the possibility of experiencing another entire year, even an entire lifetime of that love, is breathtaking. As I closed my 2013 with the one I love and our friends, I looked around inside my soul. At everything beautiful that has come together. At everything that has made up the sum of my amazing life. To look at the pictures on the walls spanning years of my girls’ lives, is to remember that even through the midst of hell, my soul has still been warmed. Warmed with the love of my greatest accomplishments, and their smiles, and giggles, and hugs, and “I love you’s”. And those are the best parts of my entire existence. Tears that track down over the rounds of my cheeks and fall to the corners of my smile remind me that everything wonderful still co-exists with struggle. And that knowledge is the greatest lesson I learned from 2013.
Life is such an incredible trek. Storms that sometimes feel constantly taxing on the soul, are always followed by peaks that hold the greatest glimpses of hope, and what is just beyond the torment filled valleys of life. I am so happy to say that while 2013 was a great struggle, it was also an even greater joy. And it ended with so much promise. A promise that no matter what 2014 brings, there is always love, and hope, and room to grow, to accomplish, and to succeed. May your New Year be filled with the same sentiments is my wish.
All my love,