I know I’m late on this, but…
Happy New Year, Y’all!
I’ve been wanting to write many times lately, but I’ve been in a particularly nasty MS relapse (going on week 7–yuck!), so my brain just wasn’t/isn’t working correctly. 2013 was a horrendous year, so much so that at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2014, while everyone else was celebrating a New Year, I was screaming, “I survived! I survived!” And, even though I was hoping to start 2014 symptom free, that wasn’t in the cards. It’s ok, I’m hopeful that things will improve soon.
No New Year’s Resolutions for me–I always hated that concept (you don’t need a new year to make a change in your life)–so I intend to do what I’ve already been doing. Work on my faith, try to be a good mom and wife, fight for my health, and do it all with a smile, especially when I want to smile the least. I also plan on laughing at myself…because, really, life is just too short to be so serious. Plus, I find myself funny when no one else does.
I would love to share some wonderful insight from 2013 or say something amazing and inspiring about the upcoming 2014, but this disease messes with my already dim cognitive abilities. So, since my writing abilities aren’t quite up to par yet, let’s do something easy, shall we?
2013…The Good, The Bad, and The Amusing. A Year in Pictures:
January started with heartache…my paternal grandfather passed away on January 1. Within the next 5 months, I would also lose my maternal grandmother, then grandfather. My kids saw a lot of loss last year.
In February, we finally got a glimpse of why I had been so ill for so long. On Ash Wednesday (poetic, no?), it was first suggested that I had Multiple Sclerosis. While researching my newfound friend, I came across this gem. Since laughter is the way I deal with things, it totally hit home.
The Older Boy placed second in the Special Olympics:
Leaving at 3:30am for one of our trips to Houston for testing, I see this. Both were for The Husband. You know it’s a big job when Batman is the back-up.
Going to my maternal grandfather’s funeral, I saw these signs posted all over. So simple, yet so important. This served as a gentle reminder that we are not alone, even when we feel complete isolation.
The Older Boy came home with this note at the end of the school year, and it completely touched my heart. He may have a lot of struggles and may not be blessed with the same talents as other kids, but if he is someone who others describe as having a “selfless and giving heart,” that’s ok in my book.
I was very ill most of the summer, spending almost all of July in bed. So, we tried to make the best of a bad situation with silliness at home:
The Older Boy is showing me his muscles after getting 2 shots. Soon after, we hear a baby crying/screaming very loudly, and he says, “you hear that baby? He got shots too! I’m brave. He’s not!” Well, go ahead with your bad self…
Apparently, his immunizations made him feel invincible, because a few days later, John Edward informed me that he is, in fact, Iron Man. I don’t know about you, but I will now be sleeping better.
Just another reason why I love my sister…she has my back. This was actually on the first day of my current relapse. She has threatened MS many times, usually using terms like “shank.” (We share the same freak sense of humor.) One of my biggest supporters, she has been amazing this year.
The Husband and his brother, both fully participating in “No Shave November.” Jeremy is on the left…see how happy he is with all of that hair on his face? Many a night I was tempted to shave him in his sleep!
From one set of brothers to another. The Younger Boy has waited, quite impatiently, since his First Communion to become an altar server. Both Philip and John Edward served together–for the first time–during Thanksgiving Mass. I was so nervous; I just knew that they would fight on the altar, but they proved me wrong, giving me something to truly be thankful for on that day.
In the beginning of December, we got great news! My neurologist finally decided to make the formal diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis! I know this may not sound like good news to you, but for us, it was a final answer, along with a game plan of how to fight this disease. I started treatment a few weeks ago, and so far, so good.
This was the scene pretty much every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas morning. Anticipation, anyone?
Lastly, a shot of myself. Here’s how this came about:
“Mom, can I take your picture?” -Philip
“I guess…” –Me
“Will you post it on Facebook?” –Philip
“I’d rather not. I’m tired, I don’t have any make up on, I haven’t even brushed my hair, and I spent most of the day in the hospital. Not really up to sharing this look with others.”
“But you’re my mom, and I love the way you look. Even when you look like a mess. Pleeeease…”
How can you refuse that? So, against my better judgment, and throwing all dignity and vanity out of the window, here I am obliging the kid. (This was way after I had enough of this game, and I’m fussing at him to go to bed…according to Jeremy, this is my ‘mean face’ that he always sees. Ha!)
So, there’s 2013 in pictures. Loss, illness, love, laughter, acceptance, and support. If you look at the events from this year, it’s easy to say it was a really bad year. If you look at the people, you can come to a quite different conclusion.
I choose to look to the positives, so I guess I can say it was a pretty good year.
Here’s to more of what’s great in 2014! Whatever this year has in store for me, I know that I can make it through, especially when surrounded by such wonderful loved ones.
From my family to yours, we sincerely wish you a very Happy New Year. May you find your positives in 2014.