Twenty-four years ago today, I received the best gift of my life. That was the day I became a mother. I can't believe how fast time has flown. It really does feel like just yesterday that I brought my bouncing baby boy home from the hospital.
I couldn't help but reflect on how I spent the early hours of today versus all those years ago. Both were spent in a clinical setting. Today though, was all about me. I'm at the point in my life where I am taking my health and all manner of things "preventive" much more seriously.
On January 11th, 1992, I was surrounded by doctors, nurses, family and friends. All were with me to wish me well and to welcome my son into the world. January 11th, 2016 I was surrounded by doctors, technicians, blue gowns, cold steel, painful needles and little plastic cups. A lot of people milling about, but I was alone. My mind kept wandering to thoughts of my son. Was he having a good day? Were people wishing him well? What were they learning in class today? Was he happy? I was replaying all the birthday parties he had as a little tyke and his excitement on the mornings of his birthday.
Up until that moment when I found out I was pregnant, there was an emptiness that I carried around with me at all times. My marriage was not working and I felt so very alone in the world. When I was told I was with child, that void disappeared. I fell in love with him before ever seeing his face or hearing his voice.
Every rose has it's thorns though. Along with pregnancy came complications that scared the hell out of me. My doctor at the time assured me that I had a less than 1% chance of having ovarian cancer. That was not good enough for me. I never wanted to hear my name and that dreaded word in the same sentence. All the joy and excitement I carried in my heart turned to fear, worry and heartbreak. All I kept thinking was that I would not be around to watch him grow up. I couldn't bear the thought of it.
With God's grace, everything turned out to be ok. I was thinking on my way home tonight that my outlook on how I spent this day was all wrong. I should not have been moping that I was spending it in a clinic. I should instead be happy that I am still here to be sitting in that clinic and that yes, I did get to watch my son grow up to become a man. I have every intention of dancing at his wedding one day and to hold another little baby in my arms when the time comes. This time it will be my grandchild.
Today was a perfect day after all.
As this is the first post of the new year, it's only fitting that I write about change. This will have nothing to do with resolutions that will have been long forgotten two weeks into January. I promise.
Life will always have it's ups and downs, and with that comes change. It's inevitable and unavoidable. Somewhere along the line we have bought into the lie that change is scary, bad, unpleasant and final.
Wouldn't it be great if we could all see it for what it really is - opportunity. It's an invitation to grow, experience just enough discomfort to prove to ourselves that we are so much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. It builds character, makes us realize that nothing is permanent; be it pleasant or unpleasant.
When thinking back on a trying event in life, we can always conjure up the pain and fear we experienced. It's deeply imbedded in our memory. We often say things such as "oh, I NEVER want to go through that again". How is it that we can always relive that in our minds easily , but cannot recollect that moment when we are settled in a new comfort zone and realize that we've lived though something that we thought would surely break us? Until the saying "this too shall pass" is accepted and embraced, we often continue to carry our fears and hurts on our sleeves.
The only thing that remains constant and never changes is God. To assume the same of ourselves and our lives is unrealistic.
I write this as I think of an acquaintance who may be about to start a chapter in her life that she had not anticipated. My wishes for her are that she does not fall into the self defeating trap of feeling sorry for herself or allow fear to cripple her.
Given the opportunity, I would love to be able to tell her that her outlook on this will make the difference between giving up and allowing fear to wrap its fingers around her heart or blossoming and realizing she is not a victim of circumstance and that it is all part of God's plan for her life. Maybe she has been asleep at the wheel for too long and now is the time for her to awaken and have a say in what will make her happy.
Hi! I'm Chris, an empty nester living in Montreal and making the most of this stage in my life. I love cooking for friends and family, DIY projects, decorating and writing.