It’s that awkward week between Christmas and the start of a new year. The big holiday is over and we get ready for everyday life to resume in 5 days time. Of course for carers, we are still working daily caring for the loved one whose life we are dedicated to saving. Still, I think this time between Christmas and New Years Day has always been one of reflection…at least it is for me.
Reflection and looking ahead.
As I reflect on 2018, I can honestly say it was one of the most challenging years I have ever had in my life. The year started with Brendan Bjorn being bedridden due to a pressure sore, and the year will go out with the same. In between, he saw the complications of cruelly delayed scoliosis surgery. Then post op, he saw 2 and a 1/2 months in hospital fighting various infections and trouble with his intestinal system not accepting PEG feeds again. Somewhere in that extended hospital stay, I found myself in the Stroke Unit at another hospital wondering if I’d ever see my boys again. Thankfully, it wasn’t a stroke. And while another health issue was discovered, it is one that I should be able to control (if I can control my diet, that is!). Yes, this year has been hell in many ways: Being apart from Declan for so long; Living in an unsuitable rental home that has restricted me from being able to use a hoist for Brendan’s care; Emotional, physical and financial struggles; and more.
As I look ahead to 2019, I have realised there is something I must do, not only for myself, but in turn for the boys as well. I need to forgive myself. I need to let go of some of the things in the past that continue to bring me guilt, self-disappointment, and regret. It won’t be easy, but it’s dawned on me lately that if I continue to beat myself up for bad decisions I’ve made in the past, I won’t be truly free to enjoy the future. You see, I’ve trusted and believed certain people when I shouldn’t have and I made life decisions based on that trust. It resulted in struggles the boys and I certainly didn’t need. I paid the price, but worst yet, the boys have paid the price…and that has been tearing me to bits inside.
So here I sit today, seriously contemplating what good it will do to continue berating myself for those regrettable decisions. It’s not fair on Brendan Bjorn and Declan. And frankly, it’s not fair on me, either. My heart was always in the right place and I based decisions on love in my heart, and that is what I need to hold onto – and remind myself of – when I reflect. I am going to work on simply letting that negativity toward myself go.
The boys and I have SO MUCH to look forward to for 2019.
We will soon be moving into our forever home, a bungalow for Brendan where his complex medical care can be safely managed. Where Declan can grow up in a small village setting and learn what community spirit is all about. Where I can finally let go and breathe knowing this will be it – our final move in what has been a recent history of far too many moves. And to be sure, it is all thanks to the kindness of friends and strangers and indeed the person who has anonymously helped me beyond belief.
I will never be able to find the words to capture my gratefulness.
So here’s to 2019.
A new start.
A new life.
A new home.
A family on the mend.
A family mindful of the blessings.
A family full of love.