Ends and Beginnings

I never got around to writing a Thanksgiving post, not because I am not thankful for a great many things, but because those great many things have kept me pretty busy over the past few weeks. And so now Thanksgiving is a month behind us and Christmas has passed and the new year is rapidly approaching. So my Thanksgiving post is getting combined with a year end one.

This has been an intense year. Intense in and of itself doesn’t have a positive or negative slant and I think that’s how I’m going to remember this year. It has had incredibly high highs and the lowest lows that I have ever known or imagined. I am walking away from this year a very different person than I started it. I feel older, not just 364 days older, but more mature, a bit worn, and like I lost innocence I didn’t realize I had left to lose. I am changed.

This year I’ve had the incredible fortune of watching my son transform from a baby, not yet mobile, to this full grown boy. One who walks, runs, talks, tries to jump and laughs the greatest laugh on this earth. I got to parent him, comfort him and shape him into the person he is. That is and will always be the greatest blessing of this year. That little boy is the best thing in my whole world and the family he created is the most important thing to me in this world.

This year was not easy on my marriage, but as we enter 2014, my husband and I are literally the strongest we have ever been, the happiest we have ever been and the most able to communicate that we’ve ever been. 2013 has been a transformative year for my family and the family that will enter 2014 is a strong unit with much to look forward to in the next 12 months.

This year also forced me to face my greatest fear- something terrible happening to my son. I watched him fall head first off a bed, become unresponsive, get loaded into an ambulance, get discharged, admitted, discharged and readmitted to 2 different hospitals. I saw IVs be placed and removed, CT scans be performed. And I saw my son suffer tremendously, which was a million times worse than all the rest of that experience. I will never be able to forget what I saw, what I felt and how terrible it was for all of us. Those memories have finally started to fade, but they are still there, in the back of my mind, catalogued forever. It was without doubt the most horrible few days of my life. It is easier to stand it now that I am on the other side of it and my son is fine, but the complete horror of those days held onto me with tremendous force for months and months. I may never again be the same person I was in early March, but I am finally starting to feel closer to it.

This year came full circle in a way, because I was climbing out of postpartum anxiety/depression at the beginning of 2013 before falling head first into post-traumatic stress, and now as we leave 2013, I’m finally feeling well again. I am enjoying my life, I am present with my son and husband, I am happy. Each and every day, I am happy. There were many months where that couldn’t be said and I could not be more grateful to be where I am today. I think that I sunk to a deep place but have emerged at least as strong, if not stronger than I was before.

I don’t know whether the highs canceled out the lows this year, but I know that I am leaving it a happy, fulfilled, loved and loving person. I am endlessly grateful for a number of things this year and I truly know that I wouldn’t have survived without my family, my friends and while this may seem a little out of place, I wouldn’t have survived with medical professionals. Both for my son and for myself, modern medicine made a huge difference in our lives and we owe a great debt of thanks to a number of physicians who took incredible care of us.

I am hopeful that 2014 is going to be an easier year for us and one with some great experiences and changes. But most of all, I’m excited to begin a new year with the family that I love dearly, with good health and with incredible friends who’ve helped me find my way this year. I could not be more grateful for all the people in my life and I can’t wait to begin another year with all of you.

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I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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