The year is coming to a close, and I am ready to bid it farewell. I am ready for a new year. It isn’t that 2013 was a terrible year…it wasn’t, well not entirely. Work doubled even when we said goodbye to my husband’s bar business. We found a tiny summer getaway close to home that has already provided several joyous moments to us and the kids. My darling Kendal came into this world while we learned that Tessa would have to fight hard to stay in it. Kendal has really shown us just how incredibly quick babies change…just how fast life passes by without even realizing.
There were good and great days, of course! Some days were bad. Some days were definitely worse. I would be lying if I said 2013 did not almost entirely revolve around Tessa’s health, because it definitely did. As a family we have been pushed close to the edge, but we have stood together with shaky knees. Our lives are different now–very different. Some day it will return to normal, whatever that is.
I learned what true heartache felt like while watching Tessa fight cancer. And for each moment of weakness she would show, I promised her a brighter future; but I always sensed her uncertainty. I felt that heartache when I would kiss my baby Kendal goodbye, not knowing how many times I would be seeing her over the next few weeks. I missed many of her firsts. I missed Casin’s Christmas program and his birthday. I caught myself in moments of jealousy of those who had no idea what this was like–those who took for granted the little things like being able to take their child to the grocery store or to play in the snow or having all of their children home at all. What I wouldn’t give to just be home and healthy with our family. I learned that cancer is a family affair, and the only thing that we could do was divide and conquer.
For all of the heartache that came in the past year came many opportunities to reflect. I discovered my strengths as a mother and as a person. I am finding my own path even though I do not know where it will lead me. And I am okay with that. Even though all of this feels so wrong, I trust that I am right where I need to be…that we all are. One day it will all make sense.
Through Tessa, I realized just how amazing children are–how beautifully they learn and how quickly they can adapt. When being strong became her only option, she was even when she certainly did not need to be. And she still is.
This year has brought many blessings, but it has taken just the same. My heart is done hurting. I do not wish to forget 2013. We can only learn and grow from it. I firmly believe that you do not have to be lucky to catch a break, but that you have to catch your own breaks and jump each hurdle–no matter how high. Moving forward in small strides is always progress. Baby steps might be small, but they are steps nonetheless.
I am officially self-declaring 2014 a year of rebirth! May it be a year full of hope, joy and victory! We will grow and we will heal.
Happy New Year to you and yours. We wish for you a year full of positivity and goodwill.