It has been a wild last few months from moving to a new place in the country, a school change for Tessa, juggling the weight of our workload, traveling and making necessary lifestyle changes. All of which contribute to this transitional phase in our lives right now. Some days are better than others.
But at the end of every day, my heart is full and my faith is constantly restored. It feels good to find contentment in change…finally. After a long period of heartache and chaos that came into our lives without warning, I am certain that this adjustment was the right move for our family.
We are healing and growing from our life experiences; gaining perspective along the way. None of which happens in a day’s time. And none of it happened immediately after we were no longer confined by a disease that held my daughter–and our family–captive. In the process we face hardships and frustration and we learn hard lessons. Recovery is a long process. When treatment ends, it absolutely does not mean that it is entirely over. We are never going to be free from this. Never. Every single day it remains with us…not because we choose it that way, but because that is just a part of it. This is something many people struggle to understand, and I would not expect that understanding either from another point of view had I not experienced it myself.
Where I once shook my fists at God, demanding an explanation, I now have peace; appreciating the road less traveled because it has opened our eyes to other things in life that we may have otherwise missed. It also gave us the chance to really realize our dreams after all was said and done. To have the opportunity to chase them down and live them out without justification. It has not been easy. These dreams have been met with resistance on several ends, but I am learning to let it go.
We battle self-doubt, fear and all kinds of what-ifs; but we let it go. When others use words or actions to try and reduce us, our achievements and even our happiness…we let it all go. And you know what? It is amazing how freeing it feels to do so. To literally not give a damn about any of it; to stay solely focused on what we have going on and to know that nothing can break us down or hold us back. Because I can’t control how, when or if negativity will approach us; but I can control how I react. That is the mantra I roll with.
The best thing I do for myself is to spotlight my own dreams, not someone else’s; by living freely each day for myself and not in spite of anyone or anything else. Life is incredibly short and extremely fragile, and it can change in an instant. Knowing that, I cannot allow my energy to be exerted on things that only add unnecessary weight on my mind and heart.
We know where we have been and we know where we want to go. Our feet are steadily planted in a path we are choosing to follow–for the first time in a very long time. We are days away from the anniversary of the day that changed our lives forever–Tessa’s leukemia diagnosis. The significance of this day is not lost on me. I will struggle on that day and the days that surround it; I won’t even lie about that.
As we head into the season of giving and gratitude, this landmark occasion serves as a good reminder for me to pay attention to the present; to look past the trivial things and soak in all that is good and well; recalling how things could have been very different for her…and for us.
Give thanks. Life is good.