This is the 4th holiday season without Phoenix. Four Halloweens. Four Thanksgivings. Four Christmas’. Four New Year’s Eves. Four too many. This hasn’t been the hardest holiday season with out her, it was definitely extremely hard. I tried to be easy on myself, and for the most part I was. But, it is so hard to be joyful when your heart is broken. It is so hard to want to celebrate anything when there is an empty chair. It’s like the feeling you have that you have forgotten something, but you can’t remember what it is. Expect you do know is missing, and everybody else around you is oblivious to your pain. They say they hurt too, but they don’t know. They really don’t know. They don’t know what is like to wake up reliving the worst moment in your life over and over again, but still pulling your self out of bed because there is a hangry 3 year old demanding his oatmeal. They don’t know what is like to look at their children and know one is missing – and always wonder ‘what if?’. Or ask themselves, ‘what would life look like? What would she look like? What would she be doing?” There are a few parents like me, who get it. We all wish the same thing – that we didn’t know this kind pain.
2017 is going to end in a few hours, and I am ready for it to end. I feel like I am say this a lot: 2017 had a lot of bad, but also a lot of good (2014 anyone?). Little Sister was born, and she is doing amazing. She is my littlest baby. At nearly one year old is the same size Little Brother was when he was 6 months old (he is herculean). She has 4 teeth, says a few words, and crawls and cruises everywhere. I feel like any day now I am going to help her pack for college…. she really just needs to stay a baby a little longer. She reminds me of Phoenix a little bit. Little Sister has an easy going personality like Phoenix, but where Phoenix didn’t know a stranger Little Sister is more on the shy side. Honestly, I usually don’t have much to say about her, which is good thing. I am so thankful for a child that doesn’t have a lot of things going on that I end up explaining to people.
Little Brother is doing good, considering how terrible this year started out for him. Not even a week after Little Sister was born he was admitted into the hospital and diagnosed with Epilepsy. He also got officially diagnosed with a speech and a slight developmental delay. Around this time last year he had around 20 words, and now he is talking in 4-5 word sentences on a regular basis. For the first part of the year we had early intervention come to the house to help him, and in the fall he started preschool. We still have a long way to go with his speech and his delay, but I am hopeful that we will understand more of what is going on in the next year or 2. He as been seizure free since January 26!! If he goes seizure free for 2 years we can start to ween him off his medication, and the hope is he will remain seizure free or we start all over again. After a check up with his neurologist, we were told that he will most likely have one around the year mark and then go 2 years seizure free (that just seems to be the pattern for children his age). So there’s that….
Luke started a new job this year, after being at his previous job for just over 6 years. He wasn’t looking for a new job, but a friend suggested he apply for a position. Luke figured he had nothing to lose and applied. He ended up not getting the position he applied for, but the company still hired him – just on a different team. It has been good experience for him. He is learning a lot more about his line of work (it’s I.T., but I don’t know all the nitty gritty).
After taking a semester off of school (something about having a baby) I started back up in the summer. It has been really good for me to be in school. As much as I love my kids and love being with them, I needed an opportunity to use my brain. This has been the perfect fit.
Like all years good things happen and horrible things happen. Friends welcomed new little ones into their families. Friends got married. Friends lost children. I can’t say that 2017 has been my favorite year. But, if anything 2017 has reaffirmed that life keep going on. Like keeps going on after your 2.5 year old gets diagnosed with Epilepsy. Life goes on after you watch friends mourn for children they can no longer hold. Life goes on after friends vow to love each other forever. Life goes on after friends have a baby. Life just keeps going on, no matter how much I wish I could just stop it and enjoy the good times. Because I know what the bad times are like, but maybe it’s because I truly know what the bad times are I can enjoy the good times. Because the good times aren’t all weddings and new babies . They are your 3 year old banging a pot with a wooden spoon to bring in the New Year at 7:30 pm (sorry neighbors). They are your 11 month old crawling as fast as she can and reaching up to be held. They are when your husband goes out on a bitterly cold night to get cheesecake to celebrate surviving yet another holiday season.