This past year has been, hands down, the hardest of my life. It’s not because I was adjusting to being the parent of two young children – in fact, that part has been surprisingly enjoyable.
It was my marriage. It was missing my old friends. It was accepting hard truths. It was going without money, without things. It was living in the middle of nowhere, in a trailer none the less. It was feeling like I should be doing more, for my children, for my husband, for myself even. But the days became a blur, one day seamlessly weaving into the next and all the while my goals remained unmet, something large was missing, I kept feeling as though I should have been doing more. What “more” was I could never say, but I knew I wasn’t doing enough.
It’s been hard to deal with but I learned that the only thing I could do was to trudge forward and make the most out of every moment that I could. Those moments when Faith was incredibly sweet and tender, crawling into bed to curl up next to me with her long strawberry-blonde hair tickling my nose. Those moments when the kids somehow miraculously played happily together. The moments when Jeff and I managed to get grandparents to babysit so we could get a dinner out. When James said “mama”. When we went on car rides as a family, the children falling asleep, their faces mirroring each other. Those joyful moments of stepping on the scale. James, clutching tightly to me, with his precious smile and urgent need to have me near. Faith, singing, theatrically – reminding me of just what I thought a child of mine would be long before I ever had children.
I remember a framed section of cloth near the door of my grandmother’s house. It had the words “This too shall pass” cross-stitched onto it. I used to think that it was an ominous reading into the future, something to remind us that everything will be gone and forgotten one day, in an apocalyptic way. Instead, as my grandmother told me with arched eyebrow, it meant that our troubles will all pass one day, just as suddenly as they came.
That comes to me often now. This too shall pass.
And on the horizon, better times, more happy moments, joy found in unexpected places. I’m so ready for it that my breath catches in my throat to think of it.
Happy New Year, world.