December 6, 2016
In 2014, one month in, my mom had to tell me she was dying - bar none, the hardest conversation of our lives. So that year, we rallied around her and watched helplessly as cancer turned our family's favourite person into a sickly skeleton. All the hugging in the world, and cancer still found its way in between us. In 2015, we had to say goodbye to her, and learn to walk through a grief I have never known, where still to this day, a few moments alone in my car, free to let out the tears, can quickly become me shouting into the sky, where are you? Give me a sign you are around! I need you! I miss you! And our family unit, as I knew it, felt like it disappeared.
In 2016, the year started with a bang, with Dad in intensive care for two months, fighting for his life. And in that time, I sat beside him, day in, day out, re-living so many hard moments from my childhood, holding his hand, when at some moments I wanted to run screaming from that hospital. I wanted to say enough! And to layer on the grief this year we had to say goodbye to our cat of 18 years, and dog of 16 years. I lied on the floor, beside my dog, holding her as she left this world. I seriously covered her in more tears than I had ever let out in my life. She died when my husband was away, and I think I cried for the both of us that day.
But I'm not here to tell you my sob story because I know several people who have endured a lot worse this year. I'm here to tell you that layered in these tragic times of life, have been these moments, of pure joy, of fall down laughing, of travelling, of meeting new friends, of being in rooms with extraordinary souls. I've become one of those people who sits right inside the happy moments now. I consciously take note of them, and could give you a big list of moments that really stand out because I took the time to observe them from every angle. I remember, when mom only had a month or so to go, I was standing on a beach with friends, skipping rocks into the ocean. The kids were running around laughing, the sun was on our faces, and I remember looking around at each of them thinking, this is it, this beautiful moment will carry me a long way. I've stopped wishing 2017 is going to be extraordinary because I know now that life will throw a lot of good and bad our way, and it's all about navigating it and living with the reassurance that incredible moments will keep coming. When I called to tell my friend I was pregnant with Stella, she found out her dad was dying. When I told my husband I was finally feeling more myself again lately, our friend found out he has cancer. So, if you find yourself thinking, it'll get better when I have a bigger home, or I'm thinner, or I'm doing my dream job, or I have more money, guess what, life is all of the good and bad happening to you right now. Seek out the beautiful moments. I take a photo a day because I want to remember a special moment I experienced each and every day. I don't even have to look hard. They are all around. xo