I’ve been working with my doctor for about a year now on my breathing. To say it’s been a long, slow process would be a vast understatement. Vast in a “the Grand Canyon is a pretty valley” sort of way.
But I’m hanging in there ‘cuz, you know, that whole pesky breathing thing. It’s not like I can give it up for Lent.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my younger days.
See that sweet face? (Yeah, BrightSide, too.) How innocent, how naive…ready to go along to get along, keep the peace, calm the waters no matter what.
Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I’d tell that 20-something me.
I’ve hit the Big 4-6 today. Past the decade midpoint. On the downhill slide to 50.
Woo hoo, people, it’s party time!
In honor of this momentous occasion, here are 46 tidbits for the day.
Celebrations are powerful, especially for children. They don’t understand I’m not really up for Christmas this year or let’s just let this birthday pass quietly. They understand the inherent joy in special days, and they’re drawn to reveling in them. They’re children, after all, even after they’ve morphed into bigger bodies, and if we’re lucky they haven’t lost the magic in marking milestones with joy.
Which has made this past year somewhat difficult for me.
For such a spunky gal (yep, I said spunky), I sure did spend a lot of time blending into the background. Not making waves, not jumping into confrontations, keeping my mouth shut even when something made me feel weird.
Camouflage was a survival skill, one that I carefully honed over the years.
I’ve been thinking back on my Forever Family topics, things that have moved me since I began writing the series, and what sticks with me is this…man, I hope these don’t come off as whiny finger pointing rants.
A few posts have talked about me and my own issues but the vast majority have looked at other people’s perceptions, my kids’ emotions, and how adoption affects (or doesn’t affect) our everyday lives. All worthwhile topics, true, but in the pursuit of balance let’s turn that focus inward.
Pregnant women scare me.
In dedication to anyone whose mother has passed on.
I love you. Those three words don’t seem nearly enough to speak what’s in my heart, but they’re all I have so they’ll have to do.
This really has been a hell of a year, if you don’t mind my saying so. There’ve been days when I’m wrecked, and then there are days when life just keeps on rolling and I almost forget that you’re gone. People tell me this is normal but it still feels like a betrayal of your memory, like every wisp of you has been carried away on the wind while I stand enjoying the sunshine. I try to remember that you enjoyed the sunshine, too, and would want my face turned toward the sky.
Sometimes the weeping comes, but it’s all twisted up in too many things to sort out. I miss holding your hand, but the memory of you fighting the Parkinson’s hurts. There are things I want to tell you, but then I’m furious because I know even if you were still here we would be struggling to communicate. I’m heartbroken that you aren’t with me as my kids grow up…that I can’t call for advice or cry on your shoulder…that they aren’t able to tell you about their lives.
But I’m not crying just because you’re gone; I cry because we lost you several years ago, and I miss my mom. I miss the woman who could have played a game with my kids or listened to their stories. I miss the woman who would have laughed at Bear’s antics and told me what it was like to raise me through the tween years. I miss the woman who loved reading as much as I did, who enjoyed discovering new authors and getting books on her birthday. I miss you.
We’ll be thinking about you a lot today. It’s no mistake that our first year without you actually falls on Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for every moment I had with you, mom, and I’m grateful that I’ll be surrounded by family as we mark what would have been your 80th birthday.
Hope you’re having an extra slice of pumpkin pie up there today.
All my love,
“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”
– Brian Jacques
Sometimes I still fight the tears. I feel them coming, my chest tightens, and my instinct is to hold them in for fear that once I start crying I won’t be able to stop. I have to remind myself it’s okay to cry, even now, even ten months later. It may be ten years later and there will still be days with tears.
But I do believe tears are part of that life source, as is the light, so I know I need a balance of both. There are moments of sorrow, sometimes days that are long and hard, but there are also moments of great joy. Times when I laugh with ridiculous abandon with my kids, bent double with giggles as they remind me how precious these years of their childhood are.
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