Over the holiday season, we got a few Christmas letters from some dear friends and family members... talking about how their year went and all the wonderful things that happened to them. I thought about what our letter would say if we created one. How would we talk about the worst year of our lives? What words could be said that would do 2012 justice? I feel like a good ol' "F*** YOU" would be the easiest way to sum up my feelings. However, then I think about the year... the first 6 weeks of 2012 were truly wonderful. Every day was filled with laughter, smiles, love and happiness. As a family, we got along better than we ever had. The kids loved having Declan in our family. Both Noah and Courty were great siblings to him... and were SUCH big helpers for me. For 6 weeks we were the family I had envisioned growing up... I had my hearts desire, life was good. Then that day happened to us....the day our lives changed FOREVER! The day life slapped me in the face, sucked all the breath out of me and ripped out my heart. The day my family was torn apart and my kids learned about death and the unfairness of life the hard way. The day Declan died. The day our son's heart stopped beating in our arms. February 14th, 2012.... I feel like saying, "what else matters?!" Life at our house stopped that day... every day since then has been about survival... it has been about overcoming fear, anger, extreme sadness and disappointment. It has been about making a decision to let his death sink us or make us stronger. It has been about discovery and healing, it has been about finding ways to make his memory live on and making an impact on this world that is as meaningful as he is. Every day has been about accepting our fate and what has happened to us... it has been about piecing together Noah and Courtlynn's hearts and letting them know that we still love them and that we are going to be ok. It has been about coming to terms with our situation... about leaning on each other in ways we had never done before. SO... yes, 2012 sucked. 2012 hurt terribly. 2012 will never be forgotten... but overtime, what I hope I remember are the 6 weeks Declan was here with us and the incredible way Nathan, Noah, Courlynn and myself pulled together to get through this... Thanks to those three, I can say confidently that I was able to laugh, I was able to smile and I was able to see my blessings amidst the rain even during the worst year of my life.
It's tough to be happy when your child has died... but day by day, we are coming to a place were we are starting to find a new happiness. The only new years resolution I will be making for 2013 is to make the most of what I have, give thanks and praise for Declan daily and to move in a direction that sustains his memory and strengthens the bond my family has.
Happy New Year to all... may God's blessing pour out on you.