Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lessons Learned from 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

I can't say I am sorry to say goodbye to 2012.  But as the year came to a close and on New Year's Eve, Gavin and I found ourselves at a funeral service for a little girl with 1p36, I really got to thinking about how lucky we have been this past year.  You might be thinking, "Lucky????  Umm, didn't you have a ridiculously difficult year?"  And the answer to that is yes we did.  But I also know how incredibly lucky we are at the same time.

This past year has really taught me (again and again) what matters in my life.  We almost lost Zoe in February and since that time I have felt lucky to have one more day with my beautiful daughter.  When the year came to an end and we had a wonderful and quiet Christmas Day at home with no one in the hospital or sick (something we have not had in several years) I knew that in the end 2012 was a good year.  Because at the end of the year, we are all still here.  The four of us, in this house, together.  And that is what really matters.

I learned what commitment really means and what I am truly capable of.  I gave everything this past year to keep my family together.  To keep everyone else going.  And when I came to the end of my rope, exhausted and with nothing left to give.  I found I could still give more.  Because of my deep love for my family.  And my commitment I made to my husband and my children. 

Being a caregiver to your spouse is not easy.  I am not just talking about the physical fatigue of caring for another adult.  What I mean is, it changes the dynamic of your relationship.  This was difficult for both Gavin and I to accept and deal with.  We are still readjusting to me feeling that he is able to be counted on again.  His latest trip to the ICU did not help with the balance!  Gavin's aunt has been a caregiver to her adult daughter with Downs Syndrome and her husband with Parkinson's for years and years now.  I don't know how she continues to find the strength year after year.  But I do understand now that it is love and commitment that makes what to an outsider looks impossible, possible.

And so as 2012 came to a close instead of feeling bitter, disappointed, upset that the year did not go well.  I truly felt lucky.  And loved.  And I hope for better things this year but I know whatever happens, we will handle it.  And I will continue to be grateful for every day I have with everyone in my life.  I hope that I continue to have the strength I need (both physical and mental) to keep on going.  And the strength to make the difficult decisions when the time comes.

I hope you all have a great year too.