I have a birthday coming next week. Usually around a birthday, I contemplate the last 365 days, and agonize over things that should have been different, risks that should have been taken...words that should have been said, or maybe not at all.
In the past, birthdays have reflected regret back to me... I have always thought I should be further ahead in my life by having the status quo; an adoring husband, a beautiful house, 2 healthy kids a loving ginger coloured dog and a minivan. But this year...I have realised something pretty epic:
I'm not where I thought I would be, BUT, I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.
The changes that happened in my 34th year are substantial. I gained a new niece a month after my birthday...and she is pure joy wrapped up into a chubby, gurgling bright eyed little girl. She has the most beautiful spirit. I was one of the first people to meet her as she was welcomed to the light of earth on December 28th, 2009. I held her for about an hour soon after her birth, until my sister said to me..."Uh...can I hold my baby?" I have been smitten with that darling wee one ever since. Even at that moment, I had a private sadness...wanting, hoping for the day when it's my turn to be the new mom with the beautiful infant.
February spun my world into a tsunami size storm. The debris of losing Michael left everything irreparable. Nothing was or is the same...my existence turned into numbness and knee buckling grief. There is very little I remember between February and May, to be honest. I was swirling in a drain, just trying to find air...trying to not let the surge vacuum me under the tide of grief. Amazingly, a life raft overflowing with new friends drifted past me, and I found myself in the middle of something not short of miraculous. We are the M.E.L.B.'s...we are 14 women who knew Michael...we are honouring our friend everyday...we loved him, and now we love each other.
If I have learned anything in my 34th year, it is this:
Change is inevitable...resilience is a choice.
I took on a new role at work in May. I moved at the end of July. I got a new vehicle in September...my parents are moving out of my childhood home the day after my birthday. It's a lot...when added and divided by the weight of each event...to some, it would be overwhelming at the best of times. This year has truly shown me what I am made of. There have been moments of pure loathing and hatred towards the events of my life...and there have been moments where I have been washed with the cleansing and healing balm of gratitude and understanding....
If I die young, I had just enough time.
I won't be sorry.
I've loved...I've learned..and I have lost. My birthday this year will find me quietly contemplating my blessings..and the things I hope cross my path in my 35th year.
Great adventure...confounding love...much laughter, few tears.
MB...I'll do 35 up for both of us...don't worry, I'll make you proud. xo