Dear 2012, We started off so well. Today, I sit back and reflect on last New Year's Eve. I put on a pretty dress and stilettos even though I was 37 weeks pregnant with my precious Callie. We had a delicious meal with amazing friends who were also expecting a little one a few months after us. I drank festive pink fizzy European soda in lieu of champagne and we talked about how you, 2012, would be the best year of our lives.
It makes me cry to think that at those very happy moments, unbeknownst to us, Callie was very sick. Her heart was fighting to pump blood through her body and was growing at an alarming rate until, at birth, it was much too large. Our girl, with her big, beautiful heart, could only stay a little while. And all I can think about now are the words of our friends on last New Year's Eve. Get ready for your world to change, they said. And, oh, how they couldn't know how true that would be.
So here I sit, another champagne-less New Year around the corner. My world has changed forever, but not like I thought. I sit. Afraid to utter the words that I really want to scream. I'm so scared to hope. To dream. To say it again.
This year will be different. This year will be better. This year my world will change. Again. Happily. Peacefully. Please God, let it be so.
Today, we aren't dressing up. We aren't drinking fizzy European soda. Nope, today we are celebrating differently. Quietly. Maybe if we sneak into 2013, it won't notice we are there and will spare us the brutality you gave us, you jerk, 2012. Today, not unlike many others, we are working on our resolutions. And then, we are going to the local pizza place for a non-fancy but nonetheless delicious meal before we say a prayer for mercy in the coming year before we close our eyes and hit the sack.
You were cruel and mean but, I want to thank you anyway, 2012, for the gifts you gave me. For my daughter, Callie, my sunshine. For her little sister, our rainbow, our newest reason to hope. Thank you for all you have taught me. Despite the pain this year has brought, you have given me a new perspective on life, a new understanding of others, an even stronger relationship with my husband, a deeper spiritual connection, and you have shown me how truly good, kind, and wonderful people can be. Although I'd like to kick your ass to the curb and rip your page out of the book of my life, I know that my story would not be the same without you. And I'd like to think that I'll have a happy ending. So, you can stay.
But I'll be turning the page on you tonight at midnight. The rest of my book has not been written yet, or maybe it has and I just don't know it yet. All I know is that I pray that you, 2012, remain in my story as a testament to my personal history and a springboard to my future. Don't you dare try to hold me back or steal my joy.
Because in 2013, I deserve joy. I deserve happiness. I deserve hope. And that's what I'm going to have dammit. My new blog header reflects the shift I feel inside my heart: our sunshine angel has lead to our sunshine life. We are living in the light she left behind. Emphasis on LIVING!
So 2013, I have big plans for you. My personal resolutions are pretty simple and inspired by my sunshine angel, Callie Marie:
Resolution #1: Identify "happiness hurdles" and knock them down.
How often do you make excuses? I make lots of them. I can't take pictures because I don't have a baby to photograph. I can't sew something for our rainbow because I don't know how. I can't exercise because blah, blah, blah. I decided to call these "happiness hurdles". This year, I vow to identify my hurdles quickly (what's really behind the hurdle?), get over myself (fix the problem or fix my mindset), and then jump them. Because the only person between me and all of those little projects/happiness I mentioned above...is me.
Resolution #2: Begin the Kindness for Callie Project.
A while back, I got spam-scammed into thinking someone didn't like my blog. I was so mad, that I asked my readers to go out and do a random act of kindness to make up for that mean-hearted comment. It felt so good. In the New Year, John and I plan on doing random acts of kindness and charitable giving in Callie's memory and we will call it Kindness for Callie. It will be our personal way of allowing her to live forever and make a difference in this world. If you would like to join us, I will be sharing more about this project soon.
So there they are. My resolutions in print for all the world to see. John and I have also set some resolutions as a couple to that will help us jump some happiness hurdles we were having as a family: (1) sticking to a budget that allows us to be more generous and charitable and (2) making some small changes in our daily routines so that taking care of our house doesn't feel like such a burden. And no, that doesn't involve a maid...although, I wish it did.
Hey, 2013! The good news is that you don't have to try very hard to be better than 2012. So, please be kind to me. I have faith.
My new mantra: