I sit here hesitant and unsure of how to begin my post. It has been months now since I’ve written and kept a decent record of our history. It feels like a thousand and one things have happened this past year worth remembering, so the words should just flow… But I suppose it is all that has happened that has also kept me from writing. And despite my silence over the web, the noise in my head has not stopped and has been a great source of frustration for me.
Over this past year I must have written a hundred entries in my head: I would work on and hone the words to properly express what I felt; I’d rewrite my feelings while half-sleeping and tell myself to write it down in the morning so that I wouldn’t forget. Each post was poignant because the emotions and feelings over current events were still sharp and clear, the memories cut fresh. But as each day passed, the urgency to write felt weaker. With each day that I delayed, the raw edges of my memories rubbed dull. Stronger than my need to get it all out of my head was my fear of trivializing or misconstruing my memories, thoughts, and feelings. And so the days passed into weeks, the weeks into months. But today, though I sit here hesitant, I am also resolute.
I could start by saying that until about October of this year, I very much wished for 2014 to be over. It was not my favorite year. But, holidays and festivities brought excitement, and as Advent came and passed into Christmas, and as sadness and anxiety faded into hope and joy, my perspective changed. Now with the 2014 coming quickly to an end, stronger than my fear of getting my words all wrong, is my wish to remember and grow from this year.
And it has been one of immense growth, indeed!
For the record, I don’t look back wishing things were different. That would be a futile endeavor and could never lead to growth. My goal here is only to remember, if only for my children to one day be able to read and learn more about their Momma and the journey we have all been on. As it happens, my big girl asks me every day to tell her a story about myself (under age 20, of course, because she knows the rest). I am quickly going through the ones that she can relate to, ones that she can imagine and sympathize with (like the time I lost a foot race and started hyper-ventilating, blowing snot bubbles out of my nose for all to see). She can get a kick out of those. So, maybe one day these posts can be a little family history for her that will complete her picture of me, of us, and how our lives have evolved over time.
I’ll let this be my introduction for the posts to follow. And I’ll post here first the face of the girl who reminds me to tell the stories. She is my first-born, the one to make me a mother, the one who forced self-reflection and correction upon me. When I choose to see myself through her eyes and experiences, I pause and think, “can I do this differently?” “can I do better?” “can I teach her the right way?” “can I do what is best for her and all of us?” And I can see that motherhood is selflessness, it is turning yourself inside-out, if you dare, to be better, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. But, that is altogether another post of its own.
Sigh. What blessings she and the children truly are.
Here she is standing in front of her Great-Grandma Wichmann’s home, not far from our Los Angeles home. It had been her home for something like 50 years. Here we were saying our goodbyes to it, to all future visits, and to the memories my husband and his family made there. It was one of the many good byes we made this year.