A change of perspective

•August 11, 2021 • 1 Comment

The thoughts of the future are daunting sometimes, or most of the time when I think of what’s to come with Eli and Ella and MLD. Many parents or caregivers of a special needs child will go through these same thoughts and fears. If you allow it, it will eat you up while robbing you of the joys of today. These thoughts, unfortunately have been something that have taken over me in the past and they have thrown me into deep and dark places. Fortunately we don’t have to stay where we are forever and we can choose to work hard to better ourselves every day. I am slowly learning to live in today while cherishing the memories of yesterday all while trying not to anticipate what tomorrow will bring. It can be a challenge, but when you succeed, you find that there can be just as much joy, if not more in store for you. Living in today has also helped me change my perspective, which in turn is helping me change my life.

Some before and after, eye opening changes of perspective haven’t come easy but they have come from a heart that has been hardened and then softened again thanks to the beauty of imperfection and living a life that I am choosing to embrace no matter what tomorrow may bring. Finding messages and meaning in my mess is a gift.

Eli can’t clean himself properly without help – I GET to help Eli make sure his body is clean, while cherishing the gift of gratitude for his feet that still work and his hands that can still do so many things. I get to look at his sweet face while he allows me to shave his mustache. I notice his skin and ever changing facial structure as he turns more into a young man. When I put cream on his legs after the shower, I close my eyes and thank God for what he can still do. I notice his biceps on his thin arms that still allow him to fight with his brothers, play his video games, feed himself, play with his wrestlers and so much more. Although his toes overlap and his legs are more disfigured, somehow God allows him to push though, and I thank him for every working body part. I thank God that Eli loves his life. I also thank God for letting me find so much good in a situation that has broken me over and over time and again.

I HAVE to be their best friend every day – I GET to do EVERYHTING with them. Most days start with jokes and Alexa humor at breakfast…they don’t mind me being there helping them as we plan out the day. When they want to go for a walk, ride a bike or go swimming, I get to do it with them, I get to hear their joys and pains every day. I am blessed to be able to be that person that they want to talk to, watch movies with, joke with, lip sync with, do tik tok’s with, play baseball and minigolf with. I rarely miss out on anything BECAUSE i get to do it all with them.

They just want ME when anything goes wrong – When they are sick I STILL get to snuggle them, I get to sleep in their room, watch movies, bring them food and whatever they need until they are better. When Eli feels unwell, he doesn’t mind me sleeping in his room (at just about 16 years old) to make sure he isn’t having any issues. When Ella just had Covid, I got to sleep in her room every night, making sure I could take care of whatever she needed.

They look to me for many things and I am blessed to be able to be that person for them. The sad parts will always be there, but with the help of God, and continually working on myself, I am slowly learning that a change of perspective is all you need sometimes to realize just how lucky you are.

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When love hurts

•August 2, 2021 • 1 Comment

As a parent or simply as a woman, I’ve been labeled an empath, or a person who feels others emotions, someone who feels maybe even too much. I’ve always known that being this type of person can get me into emotional trouble but I never realized just how much it can actually hurt, when feeling what someone else is going through. The physical effects of love are well known; when you love deeply you physically feel different. Your stomach might hurt, you can’t sleep, your mind is racing but these same feelings are felt when you hurt BECAUSE of love. To hurt for someone you love has been the most painful experience in my life so far. I have begged, pleaded and cried out to God to help me not feel so much. Unfortunately, that prayer continually goes unanswered, yet I still choose to trust him.

Where do you draw the line between loving someone, and wanting the best for them, trying to do whatever you can to make their life as happy and fulfilled as it can be, opposed to just loving them and letting life happen, let it be what it was meant to be? I don’t know how to do the later but I wake up trying every day.

I’m not quite sure what my role is supposed to be other than mother in my children’s lives, but I do know I ask God every day what he wants me to do. I know it may not be natural to be your child’s best friend, or go to person that they spend almost all the time with but when you have a special needs child, the line is not drawn quite as clear as it is with a typically developing child. I do know that I will do whatever it takes to make sure they are never alone (yes, I know its ok to be alone sometimes and they should be) and always have someone to do their favorite things with.

I find myself holding my breath every time Ella walks in Target, hoping she doesn’t trip. I love her so much and would give anything to go back to the carefree days of her running through the stores and me having to yell at her to slow down. Life has turned into me watching every move, Hut telling her “back to front, back to front” in hopes that she can not trip. I love her so much and it hurts that much more because of my love for her.

I’m envious of the ease of friendships that girls Ella’s age seem to have have, choosing which friend they will text or hang out with. Yes, I’m angry, jealous and envious. Somedays it feels so unnatural to feel these things especially when I continually give my life and questions to God every day, but I am human and I’m not perfect. Ella turned 13 on vacation and I think she has two friends phone numbers in her phone. Why?!! Because she doesn’t have more than one or two friends or a group of friends and It hurts so much, yet it’s probably more painful for me than her, at least I hope that’s the case.

It’s August 2nd and school is starting soon. I dread it! The boys who were once Eli’s friends have moved on to other things and people. He’s well known in school and loved but the minute he steps through the front door, I become his best friend again. I have many roles in Eli’s life and as much as I enjoy every one, it’s just not natural. It’s not the way things should be! I fear I’m headed down the same path with Ella. This summer has been spent with me being her “person” every day. I pray when she goes back to school, she finds some friends that can relate to her, some girls that want to text and call her. I want nothing more than my Ella to find someone who enjoys her as much as she enjoys them. I want to hear her phone go off with a text, I want her to be invited somewhere. It hurts even typing these words and if you have never felt this type of hurt for your child then consider yourself blessed.

I dread school because she is changing, her walking is noticeably different now. I watched her walk as I took her into school for PT and OT at the end of the year. I saw the kids as they got off the bus looking at her walking. I hope she doesn’t notice. I will take this pain over and over if God keeps her heart and mind shielded from any differences that people may see in her. I ask Hut how he does it… “how does it not affect you like it does me?” He tells me he wouldn’t look, he tells me he wouldn’t think about it. I guess it’s a blessing that he can do that… maybe someday I will get there.

Sept is coming, Eli will be 16! He talks about getting his drivers license all the time. I/we just smile or say “I know”, what else can you say? Girlfriends would be in his future, friendships, sports if he wanted, driving, independence and more. We might not have any of this but we will have Eli and that is the most important thing. I know that is the most important thing and I do know how lucky we are (I hear it often) but that does not take the pain away. That does not make this any easier. Love hurts.

Loving someone and watching them go through things that you have no control over is one of the hardest things you can do. Although there is pain in not being able to change things, there is also beauty to be found. Learning to trust God and his plan is a choice that needs to be made every single day. It is a continuous choice of believing that he will take this pain and use it for something greater.

“A lot of things broke my heart, but fixed my vision”

Is God good all of the time or only when we get what we pray for?

•May 5, 2021 • 1 Comment

Tonight I read a post about a child who was going through a surgery and the author of the post (assuming it was a parent) said their faith has been tested through all of this but thankfully the surgery was a success and God is so so good.

My question is this, is God good because the surgery was a success and life will move on like you expect. Is God good because nothing happened to your child and there were no complications? How often do I read God is so good after a not so good situation, or an ending that is less that we desired? Is God only worthy of praise and being “good” when we get the outcome that we have been on our knees praying for?

In my 48 years on this earth a lot has not gone my way. From as early as I remember I have prayed to be relieved of so many things. Some of course were answered but many are still being prayed for today. That is why that statement has always bothered me – If I only thought God was good when I got what I wanted, then I most likely wouldn’t have a relationship with my God today. People get cured from cancer and God is good, kids recover from the unthinkable and God is so good. I don’t hear too often (although there are some times) how good God (still) is when they lose a child, or when their cancer isn’t gone, what about when their baby is born less than perfect or they are given a life that they just can’t handle? Is God still good or only when the end result suits us?

As I watch Eli lose the ability to hold himself up and walk, as I see Ella’s feet continue to turn in, I know some dark days lie ahead. I know that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a good light but a train coming at us. I know that my tears will continue to be plenty in the future BUT despite this, I also know that God is good!

I remember after the kids were diagnosed I chose to get baptized one day at church. This was before we even knew Milan would see us for an evaluation. I remember sitting in church crying during some sappy song as I did every week, then thinking about my relationship with God. I wondered how I would feel if we would lose both of our kids to this disease and how I would feel about God then. The day I chose to get baptized I chose to believe in God’s plan no matter what. I didn’t want to think God was only good if they would be saved and lived. God was good and this was my way to show not necessarily him but me that I believed in his plan and not just because of what he did or what he was going to do for my family.

I will never understand the why to so many things in life and just this morning I cried to Hut about watching Eli struggle and the pain of helplessness I feel. The knowledge that I will never understand “why” is hard but without a doubt I do believe that there is a bigger plan and purpose that I am just not privy to. More importantly I believe that God is STILL good despite the tears, anguish and pain of watching two of my kids be robbed of the simplest of things.

Maybe you have never needed God like I have. Maybe you have never needed him to help you get through another day just so “hopefully” tomorrow is a better day than the day before. Maybe you have only needed to be on your knees in prayer minimally in the course of your life. If that is the case, count yourself lucky they might say but for me God draws me close through my pain. He knows my heart and has blessed me with so much. I’m not sure if I would see all the blessings without all the pain. I do know that God works through Eli in such a way that I am given what I need and it comes at the perfect time.

For me, God IS good and it’s not contingent on what I am given. I may not understand his ways but I trust in the goodness that I witness on a daily basis, most of which has come from my darkest days.

Surrendering – the greatest gift I can give myself

•February 16, 2021 • 2 Comments

Letting go of my desire to change Eli and Ella or THEIR story has been a struggle that has now spanned years. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole won’t work no matter how many times you try but the ego tells you to keep trying, keep pushing, until one day you realize that holding on can do more harm than letting go.

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up or giving in. Letting go means surrendering. Surrendering to the unknown and accepting the powerlessness that I have in so many areas of my life. That statement is healing in itself. Surrendering is brave but is something that has scared me for so very long. I have always believed that if I surrendered to what is, that it equated to quitting on them or giving up. In reality, Surrendering only means giving up a power that I thought I had…the power of control. It means giving IN to a life that I was not ready to accept. To accept life on life’s terms and not my own! This is not easy!! To surrender shows strength, bravery and acceptance to live life as it unfolds on life’s terms, despite the pain along the way.

Yet my pain is not What God intended –

Embracing the life in front of me is not easy, even though I am reminded daily of why I MUST continue to accept what IS on a daily basis. Life doesn’t really give us what we want but it finds ways of showing us what we need. This journey is not what I envisioned or thought I NEEDED but I am reminded so often that I don’t have all the answers. The lessons learned and love felt along the way have been priceless!

Eli will most likely never drive or go to college, I don’t know if he will ever feel the excitement of a first kiss or the anticipation of moving out and having a life of his own. Witnessing the changes in his body over the years and knowing it will continue is so crushing. Thankfully, Ella’s future is still up in the air and although we really don’t know what lies ahead for her, we do know as of now she is 12 going on 8. The friendships are almost non existent (so incredibly grateful for what has remained) and watching her slowly progress with this disease is torture. My heart hurts every day!

Watching other parents of special needs kids do it all seemingly with a smile and acceptance makes it hard for me to share my truth and my feelings but I can’t live like that anymore. I love my kids and the gift of life. I cherish all aspects, yet All these things hurt because it’s not what I ever envisioned. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t have healthy kids or that they wouldn’t live the typical life that we all don’t give much thought to. You don’t know what you don’t know! I look back now and realize it was a gift to not think my kids would have anything other than a typical life. What do they say? Ignorance is bliss right? Now, every single moment means more than it ever would have meant back then. Once again, not my plans but his.

God had other plans and I love learning to embrace these plans as I grow into the person who is finally letting go of her idea of what life should be like.

I’m so grateful for music as it soothes my soul, reaching a part of me that only music can. This song does just that…taking me to places where I am able to let go of what I thought my ideal life would look like and help me accept the beauty of what is!

Philly for the day and another lesson in never giving up – Jan 10

•January 11, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Today is Sunday and a day with pretty much the same plans as every Sunday lately, which isn’t much!! Since we spend way too much time in the house and Eric and Evan are out till this evening we decided to take a ride!

The original plan that started as a ride to Philly quickly grew to a trip by the Linc, Citizens Bank Park and The Wells Fargo Center. Followed by lunch at Pat’s. As our bellies were now full Eli said it was time to go to the Rocky Steps!! One thing I know is when he wants to do something he will find a way!!!

Not but 10 minutes later our hazards were on as we were parked out in front of the steps. He was eager to get out and as we didn’t plan for this we had no jackets or wheelchair. He grabbed his dads hand and Ella and I were right behind them. He was on a mission and there was no stopping him. I turned on the camera and watched him go. He never stopped and to the contrary he couldn’t wait to get to the top.

Every step…foot by foot, sometimes inch by inch but always forward. At one point the hop in his step was surreal. I never saw such determination in my life. When he got to the top I could see him trying to pull his hand away from his dad. He wanted to shake his fists in the air just like Rocky! He wanted to be like every other person at the top of those steps and feel the excitement of making the “run” all the way to the top!! He did it and he did it with more joy than I imagine most people have!

This is a day I will never forget… his desire and determination from the start, his feet that never gave up and his fists in the air when he made it to the top!

Thank you God for this moment! Some days I wonder what I did to deserve all these beautiful moments and memories to last a lifetime.

Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better – Emile Coue – Jan 6-Jan 9th

•January 11, 2021 • Leave a Comment

I have always loved that quote. I remember saying this over and over, time and again as I went for walks during my horrible days of anxiety. Wanting to believe so much that the next day would be better and so would I. Wanting to be better and be who I feel I was born to be has not been easy, but improving myself is something that has been a desire of mine as long as I can remember. This is the year for that in many different ways.

The last few days have been much of the same which is definitely not bad. Eli and Ella are used to being back at school, I have been working and so has Hut. The big kids are in college virtually and working . They have been so awesome putting up with my Covid craziness of staying home and staying safe. I am so blessed.

Friday we had some visitors… outside of course. Two teachers that Eli was lucky to get to know in 7th grade stopped to give him a present. Ms. C had shirts made for Mr. Dorazio and Eli – “Elif Peanut Butter” which was a name that they made up during lunch due to the fact that it was all Eli ate;) They have their inside jokes which makes everyone around them giggle and Mr. Dorazio has been a part of Eli’s life ever since these fun lunch days in 7th grade. I am reminded so very often of the kindness of people. Kindness doesn’t necessarily mean gift giving but more importantly time, words and love which can be more memorable than things anyway. Our life since diagnosis has been filled with so much of the later that it is indescribable.

Saturday we did our normal cleaning and I have my regular guilt surrounding that as the kids don’t do too much during those hours. Eli cant really walk so we don’t ask him to help much and Ella does her share but that ends fairly quickly. Thankfully for them, the older two are busy with work and such so they are not here this weekend during the day. Sat evening we broke out Monopoly and instead of teams it was all for one! Once again somehow Ella and I were the first ones out… hmm…seems like this is a plan for the boys. After work, Evan joined in the game and got frustrated as Eli and his dad started to kick his ass!! What a great game to teach Eli and Ella about money, to practice reading and the lesson you win some you lose some, although it is always us losing. Ha ha! Eli ended up winning after a three hour round ended after 11:30, but I think his dad was being a bit generous. So much for you win some you lose some. Maybe next time!

All in all a few good days with not many issues. Maybe if I keep trying to focus on the positive it will become what I see more of!

I pray because I simply can’t go on living the life I was. Too much sorrow and sadness, too much numbing and not enough living! We are given this one life as who we are and I surely don’t want to waste any more of it.

Jan 5th – Signs?

•January 6, 2021 • 2 Comments

I suffer from anxiety and more recently also depression. Not sure if one breeds the other or if it’s situational but does it really matter? I will answer with a no, but either way it’s sucks.

To put it plain and simple, it takes you dark places and while you are there it becomes hard to see through that darkness. It makes it hard to see the things you might notice if your weren’t in your own way. Things like signs!

I have spent days and weeks over my lifetime talking to God, looking for signs. When my Nana died, I thought she would be there when I needed her after she was gone. We were so close and for sure she would let me know that all is right in the world. I would beg, Send me signs!! My dad died a few years later and once again I don’t know what I expected but I was hopeful that I would feel him when I needed him. Maybe a sign here and there. I don’t know what I thought as he WAS dead but I had hope. A sign is something that can go a long way to someone with anxiety.

When you get wrapped up in your own anxiousness it’s hard to see much else. Self focus becomes hyper self focus to someone like me. This year will be different I am telling myself! I will work hard and be grateful, I will not beat myself up or believe my own negative self talk. Most importantly I will TRUST! Well, I will TRY to trust. Let’s just say I will trust more than I have. Trust what? Trust in Goodness!

Today was a good day… lots of goodness and a few signs along the way. Not sure what made today any different except my decision to let go, believe and trust in goodness. It’s funny how that’s when the signs came.

I was checking out in Lowe’s ( woo hoo! Lysol jackpot also) after grabbing a lightbulb for Ella’s lava lamp. It was under 10$, I only had cash (one of the kids had my debit card) which is a rarity so I put the $10 in and out came my coins then the register broke. As I had to wait for someone to come help me I had time to look at the coins and the first thing I noticed was I got a bicentennial quarter. I just smiled. I had about five minutes to reflect on my Nana and what those quarters meant to her, how she collected them and how we always would make a big deal out of getting them while she was alive. It was a joy to get one and to feel like she was sending me a sign that I always seem to be looking for. Thanks Nana

Around dinner I had to go to Wegmams and get some food as I do so often. As I was paying, the girl couldn’t scan something so I had to wait a moment which gave me time to stand there while she figured it out. All of the sudden all I could hear was Cat’s in the Cradle over the intercom by Harry Chapin. Now his was my first concert I had ever been to with my dad. Harry Chapin was his favorite and we would listen from the time we were born till the time he died. Another smile grew across my face at the thought of the good times with my dad, the things I miss and the joy of having these two things happen in one day. I walked out to my car with a smile that would carry me through the evening.

Two of my favorite people who are no longer here and two “signs” in a matter of hours. I’d like to believe they were signs so that’s what I will believe.

I will chose to believe that they see me and see my heart. They know my desire to be more than what I am and to turn my mess into my message. So, tonight I am grateful for signs, for my heart is full.

“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” Anaïs Nin

Jan 4th 2021 – Finding gratitude

•January 6, 2021 • 1 Comment

Finding gratitude is sometimes hard to do every day but I am challenging myself going forward. As the old saying goes – Every day may not be good, but there is something good IN every day.

Today I woke a bit annoyed, I didn’t sleep well and sometimes the day ahead looks daunting. Not just during a pandemic but also dealing with being so much to two kids who realistically should NOT be needing me so much to help with daily life anymore.

One day I would really like to focus on me. Focus on what I WANT to do and focus on helping me become the best me I can be. I never make that time for me and that is completely my fault. At this point in my life I don’t even know what that would look like but I can dream. Maybe I would make a vision board, maybe I would write more, meditate or “get my life together” as I have been told to do. Having two kids with special needs does make this more difficult but no more excuses.

Gratitude – I will choose to be grateful for these difficult times that brought me to where I am today for without them I would not be forced to grow.

This afternoon I heard Eli singing along to the music and I was reminded of the gratitude that I am choosing to see on a daily basis. A smile came across my face and I was brought right to the truth of what matters. Living your best life despite your circumstances. Eli is a pure example of that!!

Life as I know it; day by day – Jan 1st

•January 6, 2021 • 1 Comment

It seems as though we are all still fighting this damn sickness; Cough, sinus issues and a bit wiped out. Nonetheless happy new year and let’s get this year started… hoping only good things ahead!

Breakfast was our normal interesting start to the day with questions to Alexa about movies along with playing Blake Shelton songs. I made crepes and Eli swallowed them with some orange juice which never proves well later in the day. Two hours later Ella told me he threw up so I was off to undress him and get him in the shower. (Ever since chemo he gets terrible reflux with certain things but still wants them once in a while) Eli loves to sit in the shower and just let the water hit him, I imagine like many of us do. I know when I’m in the shower I try to let the water carry away so much that has been weighing me down.

He needs help to get out and get dressed so I always stay nearby for when he’s done. It’s never easy to look at his body when he gets out as there are many emotions. How his legs move him even inches anymore are beyond me. His hips stick out so much and his scoliosis is now becoming more evident. The pain of looking at my precious son whose body should now be that of a maturing man is a challenge. It’s my pain though not his. May I try to never forget that.

I would imagine this year will be much of the same as last year but I MUST try to change how I handle MY own demons and reactions. Drinking and eating to numb can NOT be an option anymore or I won’t make it through.

Maybe writing my pain away will work so I will try that. My hope is to feel more gratitude and joy and that those emotions can live alongside the pain, fear and sorrow. I believe it’s possible as I see so many do it. I want nothing more than that.

Jan 2 – Saturday – Get our shit together

Thankfully we have two more days of no school because that truly can be a shit show for Eli and Ella. The days of sleeping in have been great this past week for everyone! No reminder alarms going off for every class has been heaven!! No more talk about school right now because it gives me agita.

Today was a get this house in order day and boy was it great. The house looks like it did before 4 kids blessed us with their presence (except the laundry room of course) and I hope it stays that way for more than 12 hours. Everything has a home and if we couldn’t find a home it went in the trash. By 4 pm I sat and enjoyed the beauty of an uncluttered  and clean house. Christmas is gone and decorations are away… a clean slate lies ahead and I wonder what will be written on it. May I choose to see things different and may I not project. I believe the slate can be filled with more good than bad but that needs to start with me. I better pull up my big girl panties and try a little harder!!

Tonight Eric and Hayley were here, Evan was home from work and hey it’s Covid so we all stayed in and played Monopoly. A fun, intense (as everything seems to be in the house) board game that lasted for a few hours. I will cherish these memories for sure!

Sunday Jan 3

Tomorrow it is back to normalcy … well, the normal that we have known for the last 10 months, so today will be spent relaxing and getting ready for the week.

Eli is playing Madden and Ella is watching a movie. The big kids are still in bed and it is noon as I write this. Dinner is in the croc pot and my anxiety is starting to ramp up. The week ahead, will it be much of the same? I think there is one thing that is for sure and I have said it over and over … only I have the power to change it.

The night is coming to an end and the new year will be in full swing as school and work are back on the calendar tomorrow.

We had dinner together and as we were finishing Eli asked if he could scratch my back… then he asked me how much money he had in his Venmo. Ha ha!! Yup! He’s a great kid but he is smart and knows I like a good back scratch. He proceeded to slide on over and rub my back (with a reminder to venmo him a couple dollars). I wonder where he comes from but I don’t really care because I am just grateful!

Hallmark is on and the kids are getting ready for bed. Eli will be watching the game and Ella will be in her bed as Eric and Evan are doing their thing. The holiday is over and I am ready for what lies ahead!

Thank you God for getting me through this last year as a mom, caregiver, wife, friend and anxiety filled woman. 

May I keep going One day at time.

For what it’s worth

•December 30, 2020 • 3 Comments

I’m too much of a thinker for this world some days… everything has to have meaning and purpose and if it doesn’t move you in some way, did the moment really matter? Pictures remind me of these questions that I so often ask myself and when I look at them, I find myself going back to those days, wondering if the kids will remember this or that. I remember how hard I tried to make memories with them to remember later on in life, yet many of these memories may remain in the picture. Will they mean anything to them years from now or will they someday shuffle through them with a smile of a distant memory of a childhood where all that mattered to me was that they knew they were loved no matter what.

Today I had the pleasure of going through about 1000 pics that happened to get wet on the basement floor. It was a few hours filled with many emotions. At first tears fell as I saw pics of Eli as a baby… wet and stuck together with pics of Eric and Evan. I saw pics of me as a doting young mom holding them, playing with them and wanting nothing more.

The pictures told a story between the date of the first ones I found ruined to the last. A story or a life well lived…filled with love, happiness and memories galore. There were friends and family, birthday parties, sports, birth pictures, holidays and so much more. A life filled with many moments of smiles to cherish. This was MY life and it was all I had ever hoped for.

Every picture of Eli was before MLD rocked our world so they are the pics that hurt a little more. I cried with the sports pics and cried looking at the pics of him when he was a challenging baby when I didn’t like him too much!! It’s true, there were times that I couldn’t even believe I had a child that was so bad and that cried so much. He was miserable. I always said he seemed like he didn’t want to be here and maybe I was right. It wasn’t until he turned three that it seemed as though he accepted his fate of being stuck here and he finally leg go. He then became the easiest kid…just go with it seemed to be his life motto from here on out.

Pictures allow me to see who I used to be and that is something I can’t even write about at this point. I wish I could go back to those days that I didn’t drown myself and my sorrow with food or drinks or tears. Go back to the days that I didn’t get angry and upset and had more patience, to the days I liked myself more and hated less. I wish I could go back to the girl whose smile in the picture was real and genuine… a natural high found in the joys of mothering and making memories to last even when the pictures fade.

It’s funny, when I go through pics not much comes to my mind but this. I hope my kids know how much they made my dreams come true of being a mom. I hope they know that I tried like hell to give them a good life filled with memories of moments not things.

So even if the pictures fade or get ruined, the memories will remain and for what it’s worth, the greatest gift will also remain. The gift of a life where I was given the honor of walking through your life with every single one of you.