Tomorrow is my birthday. That has caused me to ponder my last year of life. It has been quite the ride. Instead of the analogy of a winding road with twists and turns. I will use a theme park roller coaster, that fits a whole lot better. Just as you are settling in you drop one hundred feet turn upside down and then get splashed with water. Yep,that would be the last twelve months. On this day last year I was with my husband and kids on our first big family trip. We were visiting my husband's family in southern Missouri. My husband's sweet Aunt was playing tour guide. We spent the day in beautiful northern Arkansas, in a cave. If I were to write my twelve month younger self a letter this would be what I would say...
I know that you are having a wonderful trip with your family, but, it is over shadowed by your sons autism evaluation that will be three days after you get home. You are scared and trying to be the best mom that you can be. Yes, your fears will be confirmed and it will be worse than you expected. What you will find out is that what you feared isn't really what you thought that it is. All of the tears, phone calls, and prayers will be answered. He will be ok and so will you. During the next year you will make friendships with people who get it. You won't be so lonely.
I know that you are worried about getting into a house and getting a car. Both turn out better then you could have ever dreamed. You get a nice house in a good neighborhood and you get a new car. Yes I know that you don't believe me but its true.
This next part is going to be hard. But, hear me out. You shut down when you are overwhelmed. Yes I know that you think that you are so good at dealing with your emotions but, you suck. I mean at some point this year you will loose it with both your mom and your husband. You would be better off learning that its ok to not be perfect and to not be ok. The people that love you will still be there when you dry your tears and get back up off the floor.
I think at this point you have read between the lines. Do you remember that funny gut feeling when you were picking out health insurance? Good job for listening. Two weeks before it takes effect you will realize that the endometrial polyps are back and you will have to have another surgery. This time you will have to give up forever your dream of having another kid. You will quietly shed tears as you learn about your friends getting pregnant. You will heal physically and mentally. It really was the best choice.
You will, in March, start spending some of your time and a lot of your effort to loose weight and get healthy. Just when things are settling in the rug is going to be pulled out from under your feet. It will hurt. You will be scared in ways you never thought were possible. Words like autonomic, orthostatic and neuropathy will become a normal part of your vocabulary. Enjoy the way you feel. Ground yourself in your prayers and know that even though God might allow you to go thru the valley of the shadow of death you won't be alone. Every time that you think that all hope is lost, you will get the hope that you need to make it thru.
You will end this year with many things un resolved and you will be facing your daughter having hearing problems and a progressing neurological disorder. To be honest I don't know how it ends.
There were some good things that come from this year. I want you to hold on tight to this. It will help you when your heart is broken. Your husband will knock your socks off. He will exceed your expectations and you will have a renewed trust in him. He will be by your side and help you thru, don't forget to ask. No, he can't read your mind yet.
You WILL grieve. After you have cried and been in a low funk you will put on your butt kicking boots and fight. I am writing this letter to you maybe a bit too late to help you, my 32 year old self. As I travel thru this next year I will pull this out from time to time. It will remind me of were I've been and how far I have come. I will end this with another good piece of advice that my sister gave me the day that I married my husband. She told me to enjoy and remember the good times. Those memories are what help you get thru the hard times. Here is to another year of life. May the memory of this happy day get me thru the hard times to come.