One year ago, I said “goodbye” to my mother for the last time. Sometime around 9pm, she finally let go and slipped away into heaven, where she was greeted by my baby girl, Bristol, as well as my Aunt Lynne, my dad, and others who had passed before her. This day is especially bittersweet, because it is also the eve of Bella’s second birthday. So exactly a year before my mom passed, I was preparing to give birth to my baby girls at just 28 weeks into pregnancy. This date is a tough one, as it is now marked with two major events.
So what on earth could I be grateful for on a day like today. Well, as I sat at home today with my head swarming with memories, a beautiful bouquet of flowers showed up at my door. I opened the card to find a sweet message from my work family. So today, I am thankful for such a wonderful job and an awesome, caring team. What a sweet gesture on such an otherwise sad day! It reminded me that I am not alone, and that I have folks who not only care about me, but remembered that this was a special day. I am blessed to be a part of Chick-fil-A Bristol!
I woke up at 5:45am today with a migraine so bad that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I decided to go ahead and get up, only to see the temp on our outdoor thermometer sitting at 7 degrees. It’s hard to be thankful on a morning like that.
It is days like today that challenge you to find gratitude where you typically take for granted. So today I am thankful for my house and the luxury of heat! So many struggle this time of year to have shelter or pay the power bill. We are very fortunate that we don’t have to struggle for either. My heart goes out to those less fortunate on these frigid winter days (and nights). May I never have to know what that struggle is like.
Not much in my life has been easy. In fact, my journey has been so difficult that I thought I had really seen it all and that nothing could knock me down again, because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Then Dec 2012 happened; I got pre-eclampsia at 25 weeks with my twin girls, and ended up delivering them 3 weeks later. But the knocks kept coming: 9 weeks of a roller coaster I n NICU, loss of Bristol, Blaine’s stepmom was diagnosed with lung cancer, my mom had a tragic fall and subsequently passed, and then Blaine’s stepmom lost her battle with the lung cancer.
My spirit is beaten and bruised, and my soul is beyond sad.
In an effort to heal and move onward again, I have decided to challenge myself to a Journey to Gratitude: 365 Days of Gratitude. When you are faced with so much grief and sorrow, it is easy to get swept up in a downward spiral of negativity. Meanwhile, life is passing you by and you are missing the gems that life has to offer. This journey is my attempt to pull myself out of the sorrow and take note of the good things around me.
Today on Day One, I am ever-so-thankful for my little family. They are my everything. When you have no parents or grandparents left, you cling to those who are still left. I am so blessed to have a supportive husband and partner (who is also an amazing father), a beautiful and smart child who has already beat so many odds in her two short years on earth, and two of the best lap dogs anyone could ask for.
Not only am I challenging myself to post at least one thing I am thankful for on a daily basis for a year, but I am challenging myself to not post the same thing twice – which will force me to find things that I might not otherwise notice. Here’s to my 2015 Journey to Gratitude!