Monday, January 7, 2013

Coming up for air ...

Kids headed back to school today. I sent them off with mixed feelings. Sad to see our lazy days, and far too late nights, end. Although life is always busy here and I am always up and dressed early, it sure was nice to not have a schedule to adhere to. Although I adore routine and order, I am not such a slave to it that I am not spontaneous and willing to break it, if the chance comes my way. So seeing boys in the same pj's from morning, back into night, I loved that. No extracurricular anything. My white board calendar was sparse and days were free of obligations and commitments. It was a much need break from the monotony of life.

So Monday arrived and I cannot begin this post without acknowledging that today marks 6 months since my moms death. 6 months. How can that be? In many ways it feels like yesterday that the ever dreaded phone call came from my dad and in others, the scary part for me is, that it seems like forever since I saw her. Like so much longer then 6 months. I still can hear her voice in my head clearly. I can still hear her sweet "Do you know how much I love you?" I am thankful for that but wonder, will that fad over time? Perhaps it will, it more then likely will, and that, the thought of that, makes me extremely sad. But for now I sit with the sweet memories. I miss her deeply. I watch my dad continue to find his way and am both proud and heartbroken at the same time. Missing her for me but mostly missing her for him.

We seem to be on the mend here. I sent Zoey to school and had the intention of picking her up half day, but when I called to check on her, her teacher said she was totally fine. Happy as could be and full of energy. She still has a junky cough but that seems to be the nature of the beast with this virus that is running rampant everywhere and her's having turned into pneumonia, she is liable to hang onto the remnants for a bit after us. For now, just glad to have her better.

And me, well, I am not one to make new years's resolution per se but I really need to make an effort to start taking care of me. Last year was an eye opener for me. Shortly after 2012 began, my body started revolting against me. Literally. The auto-immune disorders I already knew I had, started reeking havoc and then ruptured cysts and shingles and MRSA reared their ugly heads. A new auto-immune disorder was added to the mix and I began receiving gamma globulin shots to boost my good for nothing immune system. Then November came around and when I was ready to get my rounds of shots, I found out my doctor no longer accepted my insurance so ... a 400 dollar office visit and a 200 dollar shot, well, fell to the wayside and I decided I would wait things till after the holidays. Seems, in hindsight, not to have been such a smart move. I am guessing I am going to have to bite the bullet and shell out the cash if I don't want to do another major crash and burn.

In the mean time, what does one do who is run down and lacking sufficient gamma globulins to ward off opportunistic yuckies? Well, how about do another half marathon with 4 weeks training. I know, I know, I have some serious issues. Nothing new there. I am doing it with my future son in-law Matt and its a semi long story of how it came to be but suffice it to say, I don't find the work ahead daunting. In fact, I am looking forward to it. See, for me, running is a release. It is my therapy. I see people running and I want to go out and run. I have a bad day and I want to go out and run. I am sad or mad or whatever and I want to go out and run.  Really can only be understood by those who run. Really and truly, running can be addictive and if you already have that type of personality, a personality that does nothing in small doses, running is no different. And if I did not have severe asthma, who knows the distance and the races I would be doing. Most likely, a lot.

While running on New Years day, I was thinking. Not unusual. Some of my best thinking is done while running. I was thinking and wondering and yes, maybe even worrying, about the year ahead. Wondering what it would hold. Worrying about what it might hold. Thinking about some of the sadness and sorrows of the last several years. Knowing full well that the years ahead will most certainly hold more of the same. That is life. No way around it. The majority of those things, out of our control. But what we can control, is ourselves and how we roll with whatever comes our way. And that is what I mostly thought about that day. Even prayed for.

I prayed and asked for grace. Grace to guide me through the beauty and the pain. And sometimes while running, I look for signs. From my mom. Strange uh? Maybe to some. Others, maybe not so much. So that day I am running along. Not so gracefully I might add as my chest was burning from the cold air, my asthma and my bronchitis that was kicking up a notch. Anyway, I was jogging along and I came upon this:

The really cool thing about this was there was nothing after the ' I Love'. It was open ended. And although I don't necessarily think this was a message from my mom, it was just what I need to see that day. I stopped and thought about all the things and people I loved in my life. I thought of all the things and people I needed to work harder in loving in this new year. I thought about the fact that I really do not love myself as much as I should? And I thought about the old adage, "that you can't love others until you love yourself". I thought that that might be a good place to start this year. The loving myself part.

I think that as I have more then reached mid-life, it is about time I started taking care of and loving myself.  Too late? I hope not. Gotta give it a try because I do love living life. I do love and appreciate waking each morning and thanking God for the gift of another day. I do not take that for granted. For one moment. I truly don't. But am I living and loving as fully as I should? Absolutely not.

New Year's resolution? Perhaps. I'll keep you posted on how the loving me is working out.  I would venture to say, some days will be better then others. So as much as resolutions are not my thing, challenges are. I love a challenge. Brings out the competitor in me. I mostly compete and might I say beat, myself. So I am up for the challenge. Not sure exactly how to go about this non-resolution thing but I am willing to try.

I think I will start by naming one thing I at least like about myself:

I like the fact that I am selfless.

Is that a good thing? For me, hard to say. Some in my life might even have an opinion on that in fact.

So that's one thing. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to come up with another.

Oh boy, this may be harder then I expected...


Anonymous said...

n pluggin along Heather. Visit the doctor and just think I know one thing to look forward to this year...Jessica's wedding, and hopefully East Coasters & West Coaters will be together to celebrate a new chapter. Also before you know it, the next baby will be here and little Charlette will have a baby sister!
That Zoey - she sure does love to be at school with all the other children - nasty cough and all.


Lots of great happenings for the Needhams - 2013.

Bea Braun said...

Well I do believe that your mom brought you to "I LOVE" and she is indeed sending you a message :) Selfless is good, but, focusing on you because you deserve it is important too. Taking care of you, not so that you can take care of others, but so that you can feel like a million bucks, is what you deserve. Keep on doing what works for you and take care of you.

I am so glad to see Zoey smiling again and you are all such a blessing to your dad. I don't think you will forget your mom's voice or her loving words. My dad has been gone for 18 years and I still remember his laugh and his voice like it was yesterday. And he and my sister are always sending me "messages" :)

Michelle said...

6 months ... I know... how can it possibly be 6 months? I don't know when it happened, but one day I realized that Thursdays were passing me by and I was no longer marking them by '16 wks since...' and that made me so sad, to think I was letting his memory slip.
By chance we are going to be in FL this weekend, on the day that will be 6 months, and I'm trying hard to prepare myself for that day and for visiting his grave.
Praying for you my friend, and that the memories will never be far from our thoughts.

Stephanie said...

Why am i crying... again! Geeze Louise!!!

Jamie said...

Im not best at commenting but I love the picture of your mom laughing and your dad just adoring her :) I am always a believer in signs. Once a huge flock of birds flew over my new place and I took it as a sign from all my guardian angels telling me that I will get thru...

Kristin said...

Oh how I wish I liked running. Very envious/proud/what-is-the-right-word? INSPIRED by you that you get out there despite your health struggles!

Becca said...

I love the sign that made you stop to reflect. Sometimes I wonder about the story of how such things came about, who wrote it, why did they write it, why did they stop, or did they intend to stop? And I love how it can be interpreted by any number of people in any number of ways, bringing its own unique meaning to each. And Kristin is right, you are a true inspiration, selfless, true to yourself.