2016 was a helluva year… I’m still trying to wrap my head around it TBH… and not just with Mia’s diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension… but with a lot of things, people and relationships.
2016 was a year that brought with it a lot of tears, heartache, pain, fear, confusion, anger, laughter and love – and my character has been tested more times than I can count. This year the universe asked me, “What are you made of? How much can you take?” This year within a month of each other, both a very close friend of mine and my daughter knocked on deaths door – one was by choice, the other came in the form of a life threatening illness; both personally impacted my life and affected me deeply on so many levels. I have been to more appointments this year, and had enough hospital visits it would make your head spin. I have listened to more doctors speak more mumbo-jumbo that I am starting to feel more like a medical student than a mom.
The thing is, if I had to do all this alone, my answer to the questions “What are you made of?” and “How much can you take?” would be VASTLY different than the answer I have given in the face of these challenges…because I am blessed to have a support system of incredible people who are always there with a word of encouragement, a tight understanding hug, a shoulder to catch my tears with an ear willing to just listen. I thank god for the ‘Feel Better Fairies’, they always seem swoop in and pick up the slack when I feel I can’t survive even one more minute, let alone another day, and they help tow the line until I feel strong enough to carry it again.
So my answer is this:
Yes! 2016 was a pretty horrendous and definitely scary year. Yes! a lot of devastating things happened to a lot of people I love. Yes! We survived things that quite frankly I am surprised we were able to. Yes! we’ve been tried and we’ve been tested beyond what one family should ever endure and Yes! (and probably most importantly) many lessons were learned along the way and my personal growth-factor is at an all-time high.
When I reflect back on 2016 – the easy thing would be to say that it SUCKED and I’m happy to see it go… but the reality is… I will remember 2016 as the year I really started to become ME! I changed a lot this year! I have found that what I HAVE to do and what I WANT to do are often the same thing and I am happy to actually live in every moment – exactly where I am, and with the people I am with! I am finding that I am more responsible, more loving, more attentive, more understanding and more… present. Despite the shit we’ve endured this year, and the heartbreak that has come with it… we have banded together as a PHamily; borrowing strength from each other when our own tank is empty and as a result, I feel calmer, like this life is more doable and less lonely. Does that make sense? I am finding myself less judgemental and a helluva lot less concerned about what people think of me, and you know what? By freeing myself of worrying about what may (or may not) be in the mind of others… I am free to live IN my life with the people who want to be here with me.
This year I have learned:
- Life is precious & definitely too short, don’t take anything for granted.
- What matters and very clearly what doesn’t.
- I cannot please everyone and negativity is poison
- Stop Judging; What’s the point? We can’t change nor live another’s persons life.
- Friendships don’t always need to be equal – I’m used to giving more than I take, but this year I’ve learned to accept help graciously… because people genuinely want to help, and because no one can or should do the hard shit alone.
- Roll with the punches, life is unpredictable – very unpredictable, and can change in the blink of an eye.
- Even in the middle of trying to find a ‘New Normal’… we are realizing (and accepting) that in our PHamily there is no ‘Normal’ ~ New or otherwise.
- Sometimes relationships end, friends leave and/or dynamics change and that’s ok!
In 2016 I learned a lot of lessons, perhaps the most important being PHamily isn’t always blood, and PHamily is all that truly matters.
My final take on 2016 – it was a roller coaster ride of every kind of emotion known to man and it all added up to a Beautiful Mess.
Thank you to all who were there to help us get thru it. And Here’s to 2017! May it be a year of positive changes, I hope and pray that it treats us all well… Cheers!
Allie, Mia & Lauren ringing in 2017