I'm thankful for a lot of things and I think I make that pretty evident here.
I decided to go back and read last year's Thanksgiving post just for kicks and I started to think about this last year and what I am most thankful for.
I think most of all I am thankful that we have settled into our new normal. By now that seems almost cliche to say something like that in our world because I feel like we hear it and say it all the time. In our community, and when I say "our community" I mean pretty much any family who has a member who has special needs through birth or after birth, it seems that everyone is on the great search for the "new normal."
When am I going to feel like I can laugh again?
When will I be carefree?
When will I be comfortable with all this?
When will we accept all this? Can we even accept all this life will bring us?
When will we arrive? Can we go back? When will it be okay again? When will I feel happy again? When will I stop crying?
I feel like I'm falling. When will we learn how to fly?
The first year after Christian's accident, I didn't even have time to really process any of this. We just kept going, going, going and it really distracted us from any kind of grief that was lurking in the shadows.
It wasn't until our second year hit and we slowed everything down, concentrating on only a few things at a time. That's when the rain came. It poured. And it was gut wrenching.
Lately I've been thinking about that first and second year and how different they both were. And I think about right here and right now and I have to say how damn thankful I am that we've found our new normal. Not only have we found our new normal, we've carved out a space, burrowed out a warm place, covered it with fuzzy blankets, and we now reside here in our new normal, safe and sound.
This new normal is our safe place. Often we venture out and forget that our normal looks different. And we see the grief on the faces of others wondering what and why and how this could happen to such a cherub of a boy. Those faces hit us in the heart, but they don't stay there for long. We know we have a safe place...covered with fuzzy blankets. It's the new normal and it's all the rage. It's all ours.
And we do laugh, we don't cry nearly as much, we are happy, and it's finally okay.
Yes, it comes with a little acceptance, and, in a way, there is a sadness that comes with acceptance. But there is also a great release and forthcoming freedom to move on and find that spot called normal.
Some people can't accept what has been dealt. But I urge them to. There is happiness and there is light beyond the darkness. The misconception is that acceptance is giving up. It's really not. Acceptance is moving forward and learning how to fly.
So I am ever so thankful that we've found that cozy place that is our normal. I'm thankful we've found our groove. I'm thankful that not only have we found happiness and laughter, but we seek it out and claim it as ours with a healthy vengeance.
Just a few other things I'm thankful for...
The Blended Diet: It makes me feel more like I'm his mom again. And I'm thankful he has gained a whole pound, thank you very much.
Christian's new wheelchair. It gives him legs. And he's super comfy. I can tell.
All of my mommy friends online and in person.
You give me strength when I need it most. And you allow me to give it back.
Christian's art projects he brings home from school. I love each and every one of them simply because he touched them. It's a little bit of an obsession. It went from this...
How many projects?
...and I'm adding more. It's a wall in our house that is screaming to be made into a collage of Christian's artwork. I'm not sure Manny hears that scream, but I certainly do. So to be continued...
Oh, and you know I'm grateful for my kids' smiles because I know what it feels like not to have one. Christian still gives me his little smirks and as far as I'm concerned it's a start.
To all - have a wonderful turkey day. Enjoy your cozy normal. Happy flying!