Thursday, November 25, 2010

Twenty Ten, What A Year You've Been!

What a year it has been! I was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease. We moved from our wonderful little house with four acres in the country (the picture to the left is the view out my bedroom window), to a house in town with no yard, to be closer to family. I lost my beloved 30 year old horse to a blood clot, and had to come to terms with the fact that I'm too sick to get a new horse. I had to stop homeschooling my oldest child and put him in public school due to my dwindling health. Lyme Disease gave a whole new meaning to my job title of stay-at-home mom. I now had to accept someone into my home on a near daily basis to help care for my children and me.

Over the course of this year, my life has been turned upside-down and no longer resembles anything that looks even remotely like what it used to. I never could have dreamed up what my new life, my new world, my new normal would look like. Neither, though, could I ever have imagined the love that would come pouring in to me and my family through our struggles, and how that would give me the courage to make it through this incredibly trying year.

Though I sunk my heels in at the thought of leaving my beloved house in the country, I knew it was for the best. I knew how much we needed help. What I didn't expect was how much I'd grow to love our new house and neighbors who instantly surrounded us with love. Our neighbors have come to our rescue on multiple occasions: from prying open a stuck door with a crow-bar in order to reunite a very panicked me with my three year old (who was inside alone for nearly 30 minutes, while I was stuck outside), to delivering dinner, baked goods, etc. and picking up things from the store for us. Though I had to trade in the view of rolling pastures, I now relish in the fact that my new bedroom window faces the house of a wonderful new friend.

I couldn't have ever imagined the way I would grow in response to such an upheaval of my life. Let's put it this way, I'm about as open to change as a two year old! But, I've learned so much this year: how to be much more positive; how to find the good in a bad situation; how to be thankful when it feels like there's nothing left to be thankful for! I've even gotten a little better at not resisting change as much! Most importantly though, I've learned how incredibly strong I am. Amazingly, I have adapted well to my new life and my new concept of normal. Don't get me wrong, I have some pretty damn bad days. I miss my freedom and I miss being pain free. On my darkest days, I have clung to and tried to put into practice this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."

What has truly kept me going on days that I want to give up, is the love of friends and family. If I dug my heels in about moving to a new house, I really dug my heels in about having to have constant help with taking care of the children, cooking, and cleaning: my job! But from the beginning, friends and family rushed in offering babysitting, homemade meals, trips to the store, help with doctor's visits, phone calls of encouragement, and on and on. Over the course of this year, with the help of family and some wonderful friends (both new and old), the physical pain of this year is dulled by memories of love and laughter.

When I look back over the year, it is no longer the bad days that stand out. What I remember most is the love of good friends and family determined to whisper strength back into my ear. Some give me belly laughs and some give me flowers. Some cook my favorite foods; others leave special packages on my porch (e.g., Namaste Gluten-Free Brownie mix!). Some have made me pictures and sung silly songs to me and sent me mail. Some give me massages. There are those who dance with me and those who cry with me. There are even those who carry me when I am too weak to walk.

This post is dedicated to my dear friends and family. You guys have kept me going and I love you dearly. The love you have shown me is what I will always remember most about this year.

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