Saturday, January 19, 2019

Goodbye 2018. Hello 2019.

I am not all that sad to leave 2018 behind me. But 2018 and the number 18 will now and forever be a vivid reminder of the two amazing people I had to say good bye to in that difficult year. It was a year that started with uncertainty and fear and left me with pain and heartbreak. In between I spent over 65 days in the hospital at the bedside of my youngest little boy. I found out about a diagnosis that changed our lives, and changed us as parents and as a family. It will forever be that year I rocked my sweet little boy as he gained his wings to heaven in July, and ever so unexpectedly lost my dad in November. That year I had to plan not one but two funerals. And the first of many years I spent the holidays with two empty chairs and a bag of mixed of emotions.

And still, through tremendous heartbreak and loss, I celebrated joy. I got to bring my sweet little boy back home from a 45 day stay in the hospital, so we could be a family again, even just for a short while. I rekindled and gained amazing and lifelong friendships. We planned and pulled off our first annual Birdie for Brecken golf tournament. I even met Garth Brooks!! I took one awesome trip with my dad and rest of my family to North Carolina, making lasting memories. And I got to stay home and be just a mommy to my boys, something I will forever cherish.

With joy and heartbreak I learned a lot about myself, about my relationships and marriage, and of course about being a Mommy:

*This year I learned the true meaning of incredible strength and abundant love. Actually Brecken taught me how to be strong. #breckenstrong. It is not easy to stay strong at your weakness. And I found a deep love and irreplaceable bond as a mom of a medically complex child who only has a short time on this earth. That love is true love. I became Mama Bear, fighting and loving this family I have with every ounce of my existence, while trying to stay strong through it all.

*Everybody needs a village. I have said it plenty times before, and I will say it again, my village is my everything. My family would never be able to do it without all of you and your love and support. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. From the calls and texts, lunch dates, gifts, money donations, beautiful flowers, and delicious food, I THANK YOU. But we continue to need you. We need you now and we will need you in the future. And I know we do.

*Grieving is hard. Grief is something so unique as a falling snowflake or the fingerprint on your finger. It is something I am learning how to do on my own time, my own way. It comes in waves and I never know what will trigger feelings. Grief doesn't have a timeline. Like I have said before, that hole in my heart will never go away. And I don't want it to, but I will take my time learning my grief pathway, hoping it gets a little easier day by day.

*I learned vulnerability. My blog has been a huge part of my grieving process. It has been a place for me to go to just let it all out, and allowing others into this unrealistic ever changing world. I have gotten so much wonderful feedback from so many of you! Who knows... maybe a book IS in my future?? Time will tell. And as the new year settles in, I hope to post more often, and about other topics. I have learned a lot about self love, self respect, and self care. Because I matter too.

**2018 changed me. I will never be the person I used to be. I am navigating a life without my baby and how genetics has changed our family in many ways. I find so much joy in spending time with Easton, but yearn for the family I have always dreamed of. But it is taking this new journey day by day. Minute by minute. Allowing my feelings and my grief to show me my path, while finding the happiness, laughs, joy, and love along the way.

2019. Be patient. Be gentle. Be kind. Please and thank you.