You also probably noticed that I haven't been blogging much these past two months. It's just the way life goes - no knees, no blogging.
As tough as 2013 was on my family, if I am truthful, there are things I am grateful for. If you'll hold tight, I'm going to count a few blessings that came out of some deeply sad days.
BlessingsSpending time with my dad's side of the family was a wonderful gift. I was able to reconnect with cousins, aunts, and uncles, that I hadn't seen in years. Our family has spread far and wide across this globe and coming together to honor my grandmother was an opportunity to hug the people that I've missed. It made me think about my priorities, what I spend my time on, and what is really important in this life.
It was also a blessing to spend time with my brothers. If you had told me at age 13 that I'd be in a car with my brothers non-stop for two days I would have burst into tears. This time around, I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to talk with them, eat with them, and work side-by-side with them. They really have grown up to be good people - who would have thought? :-)
It was a blessing to see my husband's family come together to say goodbye to the matriarch of the family. Her passing was unexpected, but in retrospect it was a tender mercy as her husband passed about three weeks later from Alzheimer's. In passing first, she was spared the grief and loneliness of missing her eternal companion for even a short while.
It was a blessing to watch my in-law's take care of Grandpa before he passed. In his final days, there was so much love in their home as they took care of his every need.
Re-evaluateHonestly, I have a hard time remembering much of 2013 that happened before my grandma's passing. It's like they say some events are so great that you begin to refer to your life as before THIS and after THIS.
I must say, my feelings are much more tender than they were before. The penalty of not stuffing your emotions deep down inside is that you don't get to pick what you feel anymore. Everything makes an emotional impression. I find myself crying over movies, books, and even news reports of a 8 yo standing up to the bully for his 5 yo neighbor. The small acts of goodness in the world tend to overwhelm me.
I've tried harder to connect with the people I love. I've emailed cousins and had lunch dates with old friends. It's been wonderful to strengthen old binds. It's like I've found a part of me again that I wasn't aware I'd been missing.
What does all this mean for 2014? It means when the clock struck midnight, this princess was ready for a new life. Not that I wanted to be swept away into a fantasy world. Nope. I wanted to live this new life I've found right here in my own little circle. I just want to live it better than I was.