What a year. What a crazy, mixed up, insane, incredible year. In many ways this year has been a great one and in others it has been extremely difficult for me personally. The temptation to go down the ‘what a crappy year’ road is pretty big and I was all set to rant (once again) about how much this year sucked. And then I received a daily reading in my email that stopped me in mid sentence. I will use this night to honor the changes in my life. I will list ten good or important things that have happened this year. I will find time to talk about them with someone tonight as I celebrate. I will remember to have fun, to be sober, and to be safe.
Say what? Honor the changes in my life instead of complaining about them? I don’t have anything to lose so why not? I can’t will myself into a positive frame of mind, I have proven that many times over so a little action may help me put this year into perspective.
1. Isabelle had her second life-saving open heart surgery and survived. Survived being put on ice. Survived bypass. Survived the repair and came back to us.
2. The moment when I thought we were never going to leave the hospital…and then we did. Her incision infection did heal and we were able after some antibiotic trial and error, to stay home.
3. I lost my job as Presentation Designer at Eaton Vance. After crying for months, and I mean MONTHS, I realized that I am better off. I miss some of the people and it was an incredible experience, but I am happier knowing where I stand with people. I know the place where I am at now is where I need to be, and hopefully 2014 will bring a new role to my life. Until then, I am grateful I kept going. I kept trying. I went on interview after interview and heard nothing. I took some steps backward with some of the work I was doing and realized that I didn’t want to be that person anymore. I raised my standards and hung in there. And here I am at Fidelity. It could be for another month or longer but the important thing is I am open to the possibilities that have been presented to me.
4. We were able to wean Izzie off the feeding tube. What a miracle that was! I can’t the credit, our daycare was the driving force behind that milestone. After her Glenn surgery she was able to have plain milk and began to drink more. Every day it was a little more by mouth until the day came that we just gave her medications through it. After maintaining this records for a few months, Dr. Lightdale just took it out. Thank God we had it so she could grow big enough for her surgery, but I was so happy to see it gone!
5. Isabelle made it to her first birthday. Thinking back to those days when I wondered if we were ever going to be able to take her home and then blowing her candles out on her cake with her on her birthday was surreal. The days leading up to when she was born were terrifying. Her first moments were surrounded by doctors and nurses. A year later she was surrounded by family, listening to us all sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and shoving her hands into cake.
6. We went to Disney and had breakfast with the Princesses. Seeing Disney through Addie’s eyes was truly an experience I will never forget! Liz enjoyed it too but being older the sense of awe wasn’t there. Regardless we all had an incredible time and made it home in one piece.
7. I became connected with Icing Smiles and Miles for Miracles. Again, words can’t express how exciting it is to be part of two incredible organizations that bring hope to families who are dealing with similar health issues.
8. I was able to be there for Liz when she needed me. I have always felt that I have fallen short in being Liz’s mom. I have made many mistakes and wasn’t as available as I wanted to be when she needed me over the years. Being home allowed me to be available when she needed me to pick her up, participate at her band events and most importantly, be there when she got home from school. Don’t get me wrong- I would only see her for a few minutes and then she would go upstairs, but I enjoyed those few minutes of when she would walk through the door.
9. Addie started preschool at Mt. Pleasant. A school close to my heart. Seeing her walk up those steps made me tear up for a few days. And I am totally not that kind of mom that cries when the kids go off to school. Well….maybe I am. Either way, it’s awesome to see her in classrooms that I was in, that my mother and uncle were in, and that Liz was in. It reconnects me with my friends who went there with me, whether in memories or on Facebook. I love it.
10. George became a member of our family. How could I list the year’s events and NOT mention our dog?? I had wanted a dog since I was 11 after my Mitzi died and here he was….chewing everything in sight and giving me hives. I am allergic to him but it’s tolerable. Plus, he is a great running partner when he isn’t sniffing every tree on the bike trail. I watched our girls fall in love with him and in love too. His friendly disposition makes him a terrible watchdog, but he does love being with us so we are stuck with him.
There are other moments in 2013 that were pretty big. The day I realized that being jobless didn’t mean that I worthless. The day my husband supported me when I couldn’t stop crying long enough to breathe. The day when I felt like myself again for the first time in months. The moment when I met some incredible heart moms and dads. When I was able to get connected with Icing Smiles and when we were accepted into the Miles for Miracles program. All of these small but great moments made 2013 an incredible year. So I guess there was only one bad moment in comparison to all of the good ones. Tonight, I’ll celebrate them all.