It’s always hard to say good-bye, but even more so when it seems as though we’ve hardly said hello…for me, this whole year has slid by quietly. Don’t get me wrong, we have definitely had our ups and downs throughout the year; but I think it is me that’s made changes that I welcomed with open arms. I am content, I am thankful and I am full of gratitude for so many things.
I can’t really give you specifics on how and when this contented state began in my life; I can tell you that during this last year with our sons’ all deployed at the same time to different war zones. I realized that all the deployments they have been through have forever changed their lives in ways that I cannot imagine. They have seen, heard and felt fears that I will never know; they have seen, heard and felt things that in earlier years I was able to protect them from. But even in war, my son’s have touched the lives of others in such a way that gave hope for a future living without fear, death and anguish.
I have prayed deeply and learned to give it all over to God and Trust that He will take care of things. I don’t have to let my breath bunch up in my throat and my heart does not have to pound in my ears. The panic has left and calm now sits in its place.
I am thankful every day for so many little things; flowers, buds, the cool air of winter, the warmth of spring, the rain on a hot summer day. I am thankful for my little birds that sing in the bird feeders and high up in the trees. My list would go on forever so maybe the thing to tell you is that for every negative in my life, I have two positives to negate it. Thinking of positives isn’t always easy, but it can change ones life from a whine to a smile. In those moments where my brain tries to return to the negative thought, I counter act the occurrence by repeating my positives and changing the situation I am directly doing at the time.
I have learned more about acceptance and how to let go of the grief I carried over my husband’s illness. Our own life landscaped was changed many years ago when he was overcome with a life long illness. I don’t want to go into any details because it is now a part of our life. We live with what happens and we accept the days that are not so good; we accepted that the dreams we once had of traveling and motorcycling all over the U.S wasn’t going to happen. Life changed, we changed, and I changed and with acceptance came a contentedness which I cannot truly explain.
In the days when things are the most difficult, gratitude touches my lips in conversations and in my private prayers. I have learned to share gratitude with others, to thank them, to compliment them, to give them hope when it all seems hopeless. As the year 2011 quickly approaches, I realize just how happy I am with the changes I have made over the last year and how much I look forward to the challenges that the New Year will bring.