I look back at my 25 year old self and I want to warn her about the hard times she is about to experience. I wish I could tell her how good things are.... how she should appreciate how happy she is in this moment. I want to tell her that she should smile more... stress less... and tell her family every single day how much she loves them, because this is the year she would realize just how fragile life truly is.
But.... what comes up must come down... and this is also the year that we lost our beloved Grandpa George and found our lives turned upside down when our Mama had to be moved to the states for treatment.
I felt at times that my heart had been ripped out, that my world was falling apart and that I wouldn't be able to handle the pain I was feeling. It was terrible and heartbreaking and extremely hard all rolled into one overwhelming package... no bow. I sometimes wondered how we were going to get through our days... but we did.... as always... as a family.
Now, looking back, it seems silly that I thought I wouldn't be able to make it through... but sometimes life is so hard to face. You can't always see the forest through all the trees... or something like that. I had my bad days, but things always get better when you are surrounded by people you love and who love you.
Losing our Grandpa was one of the hardest days of my life. Not a day will go by that I won't think of my Grandpa and miss him. Not a day will go by that I won't wonder if he is up there looking down on us. Not a day will go by that I won't wish I could speak to him, ask his advice... wonder if he is proud of me.
Similarly, not a day will go by that I don't realize how blessed I am to have my mother here with me. Not a day will go by that I won't realize how much she means to me... how much it means to me to have her here loving me, supporting me, and guiding me through life. For anyone who hasn't been through what we have been through... take it from me... you will only realize how much your mother means to you when you come close to losing her.
So... now that I am 10 minutes away from my 26th year... I hope that I have grown. I hope that I have learned. I hope that I have become a better sister, a better daughter, a better person. I hope learn to fully appreciate life and all the gifts I have been given. I hope to that my love for my family and friends continues to grow. I hope to be more patient, less stressed, more compassionate, less angry. I know this is a tall order to fill... but I feel like I can do it. After all we've been through as a family... I owe it to someone to push myself to be all of these things... and that person may be myself.
Be kind.... be happy... be true.
Kisses from the birthday girl.