As I sit here and reflect on my last year, I am filled with so much joy and sadness. These emotions have been in constant battle this year. My grateful heart becomes consumed with sadness at what I've lost. But the love that still exists pulls me from the darkness. My personal yin/yang.
This will be my first Christmas without my mom. This is a very literal statement. I have never spent a Christmas away from my parents. This is a holiday we always spend together. Even after marriage, we have split up the holiday to spend Eve with my parents and Day with his. Since I am in education and have Christmas Eve off, I was in charge of cooking. I would go to my mom's house and begin the hours long process of making posole. Mom, Isabella and I would spend time together as we prepared for the evening.
This Christmas will be completely different. We will have the same meal, but at my house. My mom's beautiful tablescape will be missing. The picture above shows the beauty of my mom's Christmas spirit. Her heart so filled with love, she decorated and prepared everything with thoughtfulness for the people around her. This year I will be filled with only her memories.
As much as I want to focus solely on what I have lost, I have to acknowledge all the beautiful, good things as well. One year ago yesterday, I announced to the world I had written a book and it was out in the world to purchase and read. I may have hit publish in November, but I didn't share the news with the world. Fear of what others would think of my journey held me back. But on this day, I announced it to my FB family and friends and began promoting myself.
This past year has been amazing with the new friends I've made in the writing community. The indie book community I have connected with has been supportive and helpful. Each of us cheering on and helping one another rise. Building a ladder we can all climb up. These are my peeps and I'm proud to be a part of them.
My daughter became a teenager. Wow! I have a teen. I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my mind around how old she has gotten because I still want to see her as a little girl, not the teen full of attitude who "knows everything". I'm proud of who she is becoming, even when I have to remind her the world doesn't solely revolve around her. Typical teen mentality. She works hard in everything she does. She keeps her grades up (all A's are expected) while participating in All Star cheer. She has made us proud and we will continue taking her all over the state to complete.
We travelled. My husband and I spent our anniversary (14 years) in Fredericksburg, shopping and drinking wine. We were in Dallas, Houston and Austin following the cheer team. Summer time took us down to Port Aransas so we could relax on "beach time". Then we finished off our summer in Cancun. We ate, drank, and lounged. And I have to mention I had the BEST spa day ever. Thank you to Steph for introducing me to this amazing experience.
And my mom. This last year with her was priceless. She may have been to weak or immune system compromised to do much, but the time spent together will never be forgotten. All the little things like conversation and laughs are the things we remember. The memories that live in our heart. I will ALWAYS remember the time I spent lying in bed with her after coming home from the hospital. My dad and I had just finished placing cream on the radiation burns to help the extreme pain she was in. I felt so helpless not being able to do more for her silent tears escaped. She of course heard me and was comforting me. Always a mom trying to protect her daughter. We just laid in bed holding hands. No words. Just time together.
This time of year is always a time for refection. For me, the lessons I take from this year are: Spend time with those you love. Experience the world. Create memories. Do the things you enjoy. Be the best version of you.