Thanksgiving came and went. Throughout the month I have watched hundreds of people pour out their hearts while declaring what they are thankful for on social media outlets. I pour out my thankfulness here often and I understand the need. Sometimes, though, the words just aren't adequate enough...
We celebrated Thanksgiving for the second year in a row by going out to lunch with our family. It is a wonderful new tradition that I happen to love. It's easy, there is no clean up, the food is good and there is minimal stress (at least not in my home).
I thought I would have a whole post in mind about Thanksgiving and the holiday. It turns out, I really don't. I just remember thinking for most of the day how glad I am that this year brought a diagnosis and how thankful I am to just rest in it. I look back on last year's holidays and realize now just how much I went through the motions. I was so inside of myself in grief and the unknown that I missed crucial moments in those events. I was there, though, and the photos prove it. My kids will see a mom who pulled herself together just enough to make it through. And that's finally ok with me.
There was one moment for me during our Thanksgiving dinner when I felt God speaking through the bustle and noise. I was seated at the end of the table because Mabel was in her stroller and needs to be pushed constantly. The tables around us were sat up so that in order to get through to the buffet, people needed to squeeze behind me. It seemed as if I was the only one that needed to move in order to let them through.
There was one particular moment when I stood at the end of the table, dinner interrupted and exhausted from just getting everyone ready, that it hit me.
I remember making eye contact with Rache and my mom. I remember looking right at Daniel. And I thought to myself, "this moment mirrors my life perfectly."
It's not as if everyone around me doesn't want to get up and move for me. They would, if they thought it would matter or make a difference. But just like in the restaurant, it wouldn't make a difference. I am the one whose life has been changed and whose child wants only me. They could all move and do for me as much as they would like but the people trying to get by (the things needed to get done) would still only be let through by me moving.
And I thought about that late Thanksgiving night, after Mabel had been pushed to her stimulatory limit. She barely cried when we put her to bed because she was just so overwhelmed with the events of the day. I crept into Nora's room and sobbed. I continued to sob for what seems like forever.
The day was fine. There was nothing about the day that could have made it better. But I have come to realize that nothing will. The thing of it is-sometimes that's what surfaces when the tears come. I think about how things don't feel the same and will not. I think about how holidays are hard and I can't pinpoint why. I think about how I am Mabel's mom-her one and only and how lonely that can be.
But after the cry and when I can find rest in my pillow, I feel renewed again. I wake up the next day and can sense the growth that happened as I let myself emotionally vomit everything that I have eaten throughout the rough, hard days gone by.
Some of the things I'm most thankful for this year?
Flaming Hot Cheetos, Vanilla Pepsi, Spin Class, Daniel, Jeni.
Nora, Braden, Mabel, mom, dad, Jake.
Rache & Harper
hair dye, netflix, red lipstick, long baths, magazines.
our therapists, progress made.
New friends, a diagnosis, a support group.
Daniel's job, our home, an Iphone, instagram
seizure meds, cookie dough, old friends, new friends.
I'm thankful for God.
For His unending pursuit of us no matter what the cost.
I am thankful for faith renewed or faith found; young or old.
I am thankful for sacrifices, and friends who teach me what that means every day.
You, my friends and readers.
A new church.
water, electric, air conditioning.
I'm thankful but the word, again, falls short. When you live life with the knowing that it is a vapor, everything around you is a precious and irreplaceable gift. Everything.
Thanksgiving night rolled around and we gathered in the toy room as we always do to put up the Christmas tree. I can't lie and say this is a sacred event with music and dancing and smiles and hot cocoa.
It is usually more like:
Daddy with OCD about the tree, mommy yelling at him, kids being insane, Heidi barking and being in the way, Harp throwing a fit and so on and so on.
This year didn't disappoint.
But because it's never been a fairytale I don't hold my hopes high. We got the job done and the kids are happy. The tree looks great and we got some pictures.
Some day maybe we'll make up fake stories about how grand it all was but for now all I can think about it is having to do it again next year and cringing at the thought.
Right about here is when Harper looked at the tree and said, "it's beautiful in here!"
That's why we do it. That's the only reason why.
They're just little right now. Only now.
Our girl has had a couple of 'off' nights since our big tree extravaganza. She started to swallow funny last night and was almost gagging/choking. We got her through that episode only for her to start seizing pretty bad which is actually unlike her lately. Even today she seemed a little weak and hard to read.
I'm scared every day. Hard decisions are inevitable going to have to be made but I pray that God shows such a huge amount of mercy on me in those times and makes them for me.
I don't even want Him to meet me there....I just want Him to flat out handle the hard stuff.
Of course I'm not naive. I know that's probably not going to happen but that is my prayer.
Our computer broke again so I won't be blogging as often this week. Hopefully we can get it fixed soon and I'll start up again.
Tomorrow is my birthday and that is the only thing that has been pulling me through this week. The girls and I are headed to my moms for a night of pizza and talking with no kids! I'm so excited.
As some of our traditions have changed and been altered, we are trying hard to preserve the ones that are special to us. Nora has put the angel on our tree every year since she was able to do so and this year she looks like she could climb up it and do it herself. She still let daddy help her, though, which we all know won't last long.
And for the second year in a row, Frufert has returned.
Our Elf on the Shelf is my most favorite thing we do with the kids at the holidays.
Each night Frufert 'flies to the North pole to report to Santa on our kids' behavior.' Each morning he returns and is in a different place than the day before. The kids have to go to bed early each night and wake up to find him the next morning. They have to try to be on their best behavior while he's in our home so that Santa gets a good report.
So far, so good.
On Day 1, brother even cried because he was so happy to see Frufert again.
"He had missed him so much."
This is a weird age for our boy but I love that I can look back and tell him some day.
The holidays really do bring magic to our home and to our lives.
As corny as it may sound, though, there is a magic here always. It is not perfect but it is ours and it's just right. Like when Mabel gets to sit at the table and Harper says "yay for Mabel!" or when she starts singing "Yes Mabel loves me" to the tune of Jesus loves me.
There is nothing quite like the days that we get to have here. They are long and they are trying.
It is hard and exhausting. Sometimes it is sad and the reality that hits is all too consuming. But in the other times; the few quiet moments with each child or the conversations I have with people who love us-I am amazed at what I have been given and thankful that it is mine to cherish.
This year the thanks just falls short but thank you to each and every one of you who continue to come here. Thank you for weeping and praying over our lives and this story. This story is true and it is being lived and I know that you empathize because you tell me so. I hear your hearts and I want you to know that I am forever grateful for the support that you give to our family.
Speaking of which-
We were nominated to be the Grand Marshall of this year's Christmas Parade here in town! We'd love to see you and we know that you'd love to see Mabel and the redheads. It is Saturday, Dec. 1st at 2 pm.
Hope to see you there!!!