As the days have quickly been approaching the holiday season, my excitement and joy has grown to point where words failed me…and then it hit me yesterday! THIS IS THE FIRST HOLIDAY SEASON IN 3 YEARS I AM NOT TOO SICK TO ENJOY IT! 🙂 How awesome is that?
Three years ago, my health took a major turn for the worse. My body was in constant pain; I was dizzy all the time; I slept more than I was awake, yet somehow managed to keep a full time job going. I cooked, but I was so exhausted by the time the food was ready, I could only muster up the strength to nibble. I crashed for months after that, desperately trying to recover, but to no avail. Things just kept getting worse.
The following year, the doctors thought they figured it all out, and I spent the holidays on medical leave from work, laying in bed, preparing for surgery the day after Christmas. There was minimal cooking on my part, but my husband and son were a trooper. They followed instructions and cooked dinner, decorated our house so I wasn’t so depressed, and tried to give me space to sleep. They were amazing. It brings tears to my eyes even to this day to think of all they did for me during that very difficult time.
Last year, I was starting to feel better. I changed my lifestyle, my eating habits, and really felt things were turning around for me. I decided to join the Christmas Choir again at church, home life was getting back on track and work was great! I was feeling excitement about the upcoming holidays when BAM! I came down with pneumonia. For whatever reason, my body likes to hide my illnesses, so despite seeing the doctor on 2 different occasions in a 10 day period, they could only surmise that I had a virus and it needed to work its course. By Thanksgiving, I was in the hospital from dehydration, high fever and pneumonia. I think this year was the hardest because I truly wasn’t expecting it. It took me months to fully recover and heal.
So that leads me to today. Today, I was up early…gladly, I might add…to prepare my turkey, stuffing, desserts, etc. and while I know I am not 100%, I am well enough to think straight, feel emotions, be with my family, and make turkey dinner! My heart is full of gratitude. Despite all that has happened over the past few years, I am grateful for the experiences. It has taught me so much compassion, understanding, love and even deeper gratitude. I am thankful for the things I have learned about myself and about my little family through these trials. We may be small but we are mighty. I am grateful for the friends that have stuck by me, even when I couldn’t be there for them. I am grateful for the love so many people showed me and shared with me over these few years. I haven’t lived in Austin very long, and I’ve been sick more than half of it, yet the friendships I have made are real and powerful. I am grateful for beginnings and endings. I am grateful for good times and bad times. I am grateful to know opposition because without it, I couldn’t appreciate harmony. For this and so many other things, I am bursting with joy and thankfulness!
My life may not be storybook perfect, but it’s my beautiful, crazy life and I am grateful for the opportunity to live!