It's natural to see the end of the year as a time for reflection and new beginnings. 2017 has been a tough year for me in many ways, but at the same time, I have so much to be thankful for. My teenager suffered with severe chronic migraines for the first half of the year, and my mother fought lung cancer for the second half. I've spent more time in hospitals and doctors' offices this year than I will hopefully in the rest of my life combined.
Still, even with all of this illness, I can't help but be thankful for where we are at this point. We fought hard to find the help my daughter needed to combat her migraines. She had loads of medication, missed almost thirty full days of school, and was hospitalized a number of times. In addition to medical specialists, I took her to a chiropractor, physical therapy, acupuncture and even to a tattoo parlor to have her daith pierced (I didn't even know what a daith was last year at this time). All of this was in an effort to keep moving forward.
And our efforts paid off.
We found her triggers (neck stiffness due to stress and sinus issues) and are now dealing with them directly. It wasn't an easy road, but we made it, and she's doing great.
I've shared my mother's story before. She's gone through surgery and chemo and all the ups and downs that go with those things. She stuck with it and did everything the doctors asked of her, and I'm happy to report that as I write this note, she is at her water aerobics class. Sure, she can't do everything at the pace she's used to, but the important part is that she also kept moving forward. She's on the road back to her life before cancer.
Here are my mother and daughter together, happy and healthy.
I know that despite their best efforts, both my of these cases could have turned out a different way. Some people fight hard and they still suffer. Sometimes there are no happy endings. That's why I'm taking this time not to bemoan what a bad year 2017 was but instead to acknowledge all we've been through and what we've learned in the process.
I've learned to appreciate every good day that we have. I want to be thankful for all the blessings we're given. Not only did we make it through this trying year, but I got to spend a lot of time with my mom, and we had some amazing moments. A once-in-a-lifetime experience I had this year was when we swam on this sand bar in the middle of the ocean in the Bahamas. See the darkness in the background. That's not land. It's deep water. This was an amazing time.
Life is too precious to focus on the bad stuff.
May your 2018 be filled with happiness and may you have the sight to notice all the goodness in your life.
Happy New Year!