For somebody whose life has been filled with continuous heartbreak, always believing in the very best, only to have to let go of one dream after another as I watch doors close and opportunities pass by… tweaking them when I can, to find a dream that might still be possible as circumstances change… what once was my favorite time year, the holidays, has become the hardest. A time for family and friends, for love and happiness, for people coming together and celebrating the spirit of home and the heart… it’s the ambiance of it all that makes it magical, the sounds and smells, the lights and decorations and the energy of so much happiness only growing stronger in number, that makes even the cynical want to believe… that transforms this into the season of miracles!
THANKSGIVING starts the season, the holiday for family to gather with their loved ones and remember all that they are thankful for, while throwing a party in their mouths thanks to their favorite foods! If you think about it, it’s the one holiday that doesn’t involve gifts, but at the end of the day (if you’ve done it right ;)) you are left feeling happy and content, realizing how full your life is in the ways that truly matter.
That being said, we could also take the math equation approach ;)… Thanksgiving = Family + Food! …lol hmmmmmm To be totally honest, that doesn’t leave much room for me :(. Food’s off the table, though my outlook here may sound crazy to some I’m sure. There are times when I get so thirsty that simply seeing a cold drink on TV brings tears to my eyes. I can’t put words to how much I long for the joy of anything cold and delicious, but every week I sit down in so much thirst I can’t fight back the tears and all I find myself doing is saying “thank you” out loud, as I take another sip of ice water. I am truly thankful that I can at least drink that without getting sick. I still have to watch the amount, obstructions and all, but who cares compared to the nausea that comes with everything else.
As for family, I couldn’t be more thankful than I am for my mum and dad :)… and of course miss Bella xo… but I admit that a large part of all the hard work on my end, to finish our reno, has been for the dream of having a home big enough to share with family and friends, specifically in time for the holidays! It’s a vision of happiness I’ve held on to to keep my spirits lifted and heart looking forward, a place I knew was on its way, where even with our family and friends on the opposite side of the country (or in another country altogether!) we will have a place for those who can to come visit, and even more, for new friends here to spend time and become the extended family everyone needs and loves. I picture creating the ambiance I always loved, where we can invite people over to play games by the fire… lights from the x-mas tree… snacks and drinks for everyone else of course, but where I can finally be a part of the smells, life and party again with my ice water and IV and still be able to close my eyes on the couch for 5 mins if need be. After 3 years, the excitement of the vision has become more of a sadness and longing… and even though it is awesome how close to moving in we are, with the holidays already here, there is no “we can almost have family and friends come over” lol… you either have a space or you don’t ;).
Life the way it is we didn’t exactly have your traditional Thanksgiving… and I admit a number of things have happened this year that have left me feeling filled with sadness that the holiday hasn’t made any easier… But amidst the difficulties of the year were many little beautiful moments that helped get me through. In fact, not just this year, but looking back over the last seventeen, there has been one standing theme that continues to give me strength to keep going… the one thing I tell my parents is the most important thing in the world, the most healing, the only thing that really matters and is worth living for. This Thanksgiving I am summing it up into one thing I’m thankful for…
“I Am Thankful For LOVE ”
No matter how weak you are, Love can always give you strength… No matter how bad you feel, love can always feel better… Any act of kindness or caring, anytime someone helps you, that energy is Love… Just as it is Love when you help or give to another… The greatest gift is that no matter how weak or strong you are, the one thing you can always do is LOVE … love yourself and love one another … and that is something I am truly thankful for.
Moments of Love I’m Thankful For in 2013
These pictures may not all make sense, but they soon will as I post my “flash back” blogs to catch you up on the year. For now, a picture is worth a thousand words :), and these moments of love are the gifts I hold on to for strength through the sadness. As much as I am thankful that I can concentrate on the good in each day, I am also thankful that I am able to acknowledge the reality of all that has happened and the sadness I feel…to be able to share it so as not to feel alone, and then find a way to look at things and “make them work” so we can find strength and happiness from love.
To help you understand the sadness… the year started out with the death of our friend back in Hawai’i, who was like a son to my mum and a brother to me. The next month two more friends passed away the very same weekend. It’s the first year my 7 day migraines began and the first year my physical health took a visible decline, rather than maintaining. With the increase in pain and nausea there was a period of weight loss at the beginning and sadly, I’ve lost almost half my hair again. (It’s so thin!!) My urgency for the apt. wasn’t just my dream of a home either, a part of me feared the changing seasons when we found out my migraines are untreatable, only preventable… dry heat and the older furnaces are triggers, as well as causes of dehydration. We’ve done special renovations with heat and a/c to help in ways of “preventative medicine”. (Sure enough my headaches increased along with nausea and exhaustion as the cold weather arrived).
The end of August brought more shocking news when a childhood friend of mine took his own life… if one event like this isn’t enough for the heart, six more suicides followed within the next two weeks! Not all were friends, some acquaintances and two we only knew of, but then after those two weeks, four more took their lives as well. None hit me as close as that first childhood friend, but by the end of so many and the different ways I was connected to them (6 degrees of separation)… it just felt numbing. Something crazy was in the air, it had to be… a pain in the world, one a lot of people didn’t want to feel anymore. I felt it too, but I also felt their pain and more than anything felt so sad that for some reason they didn’t feel like they had a safe place to go where they could talk, or at least a place where they didn’t feel alone… they must have been hurting so bad to choose suicide as their only way out. I know what it is like to feel that alone, which is part of why I’ve wanted to tell my story, hoping in the very least that it will help others know they are never entirely alone themselves.
If the year doesn’t seem full enough, I just found out that my sweet Bella may only have months to live :(… that was the shock that knocked me off balance and let my tears spring forth! I knew her heart had reached the next level of failure, from the symptoms we had been told to look for, but never was I ready for the speed at which it had enlarged and the words the vet spoke as he explained what it all meant. I’m still holding on to the truth that “God can do anything” :)… but the sudden reality of time and how quick it can disappear, brought reality to the entire picture. The risk of my own next surgery and what time may or may not be left with my family. I will always live believing that anything is possible :)… but I also don’t want to live in denial, especially when I’m like the cat with nine lives who has already lived out my first eight! lol We may not have the holiday I dreamed of, but I’m determined to make it the best we can in the spirit and energy of the season. Time to get creative and go outside the box a bit… but most of all live now doing what we can. I may lose Bella earlier than I want, but I have her now and that is what matters! 🙂 xo
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE… I hope you found all that you are thankful for and continue to enjoy the love of those around you every day :).