I just started my 2009 letter to myself.
Each year I make us each do one--similar to the monthly letter I make my students write. Where was I. Where do I hope to be. How will I get there. So on and so forth.
This year was tough and all over the place, not at all focused.
After this past year I feel old. I look back on the things that bugged me last year. Ha. I look back on what my goals were. Ha. It is almost like looking back on a different life. On a different person. I had a similar feeling after my divorce, it was as though an entirely different person was staring at me in the mirror after I came through the other side of that heartache and misery. A stronger, better person, but different. And now I see a worn older person, who has earned her laugh lines and the tight lines around her mouth. A wiser (hopefully) woman who has learned to enjoy the moments more. Who has become more of a person of strength and who has a more solid core. I have learned life lessons through the hardships and tried to just understand life through other times.
I have lost my grandfather, my dog, my brother-in-law and grand Pepe. My grandfather, Lu and Pepe were old, they lived good lives. I miss them being somewhere in the world but they lived full lives. Joe's murder was too young and too violent. I still don't understand that. Probably never will.
I have learned how to say, "I have two boys in college . . . " and "Alex will be 5 this year." But I still struggle with "Kath survived a stroke that destroyed the left side of her brain."
I have written more this year than ever before. I have a great story that is growing instead of withering up. Yea!
I have started to read again-for enjoyment. Yea.
I have new goals. I even started to work on them.
I spoke to Children's Hospital in Boston today. When we went to the doctor for Kath's 2 year exam this week, our doctor told us that her last blood work showed an abnormality in her Protein C. A low count or something. This is a stroke indicator or something like that. She showed borderline. Our next step is a hematologist, so I decided Boston for a complete overview. She still has her heart murmur. I started to pull together her records so we can get this all checked out. Too many people keep saying, "Don't worry. She's okay." I need to make sure and not just listen to what I want to hear.
This is a huge one for me. It is a concession that this is truly bigger than just me not being able to wrap my head around it. It is really real. Which of course I knew, but hoped I was at least in part exaggerating in my brain.
I have started to clean and organize (things have fallen by the wayside for the past year-ahhh, what a MESS). But Kath follows behind and undoes my work. :-) Ah, well. I guess there will be plenty of time when she is out dancing and I am worrying about her being out!
I will throw myself into everything this year-researching Kath's stuff-healthy eating-writing-cooking-money saving ideas-teaching. Being calm and healthy. Enjoy and live and love. And Laugh. I will LIVE my life and pull myself out of the fugue that was last year. I will unclench my stomach and stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. And if I find comfort in silly uplifting stories and poems, I will not apologize. I am awake worrying, staring wide-eyed eyed at the sucky possibilities too many nights and when I need to take and give some solace from somewhere, I will not apologize. So, if I gush sometimes, try to understand me for grabbing the branches that present themselves as I am whisked away downstream. And if I pout and whine other times, try to understand me for shedding some anxiety and angst on you, dear reader.
As I have stated before--this blog writing (even if you get it as an email--it is my blog--and much nicer to read on the blog site, might I add!) is for me and for other parents who are/will go through this. Not that it isn't for y'all, but I think you read this differently. I think you see things differently. I know I did before I lived this journey. You can skip over segments. You can decide not to read. But for the parents and for me, there really isn't any skipping. It is with us every second, every day. Poor Kath was tired and stared off for a couple of seconds into nothingness and I couldn't get her attention--I was getting ready to pack her up and take her to the emergency room for a seizure. She has a heart murmur and I have to watch when she gets sick. When she chokes while eating, I make sure she isn't aspirating. When she runs I make sure I check out the area so when (not if) she falls she won't crack another tooth-if I can possible avoid it. And now I need to understand what this blood test is indicating to us in regards to the possibilty of another stroke. And then I also want her to be 'normal' so I have to back off and let her play and be a normal two year-old. Where are the books for this? :-D
It is a new year. I choose to begin by feeling strong and powered up for the year. I hope it will be a better year financially so that Rog can quit his second job. I pray we are strong enough to handle all that comes our way this year. I pray for creativity and good writing. I am hoping to finish my story and start looking for an agent/publisher by summer.
Good things for us in '09. I pray. Happy New Year to you all.