Saturday, December 31, 2016

12.31.16 :: Year past and year ahead

I am not quite sure where time has gone this year. Despite being one of the most difficult years of my life, it has flown by in a blink. This will be a year I want to erase from my memory, but a year that will define the years to come. So the memories have to stay. 

The front end of the year was spent preparing for Charles to leave for the Air Force. Prepping our kids and myself for him being gone and me taking on the role of a single parent. Preparing our kids for the many months of their daddy being gone. We did books, countdowns, special daddy bears and daddy blankets. We did videos of daddy reading stories and of him doing the night time routine. It was a whirlwind to prepare for this huge change. I went into April already exhausted, and my tough months had only just started.

In April, Charles left. I became a single mom. We celebrated Logan turning one with Charles gone. I became overwhelmed with all that our lives require as just one person trying to fill the gaps of two. I spent sleepless nights writing letters to Charles and cleaning our home. And woke every morning to do it all alone again. I drove to Texas and back 3 times, 4 of the legs I drove solo with both kids. Logging a total of approximately 90 hours on the road driving. And every trip included vomiting and sickness. I managed to come into September a bit worn and exhausted, but ready for a much needed break. Charles was finishing the last bit of his Air Force training in Tuscon, just 2 hours away. And I was ready for some much needed relief.

As we entered October, we were making our plans to do our first vacation, or even over night together with no kids. A Hawaiian cruise. I was counting the days until he graduated from all his military training and we could take off. On a no-stress vacation.

Then our lives forever changed on October 19th. Sammy was diagnosed with brain cancer. Our sweet child has cancer. CANCER?! How is this even real life? How is this happening to our family? We have finished out our 2016 with moving to Phoenix Children's Hospital/Ronald McDonald House. Sammy has logged 75 continuous nights at the hospital recovering from brain surgery and receiving chemo treatments. Our 2016 has ended in a way I could have never dreamed. Our child fighting for his life in a hospital room.

As we enter 2017, I am terrified. I am terrified of what the next 365 days will bring to our family. I realize that we may face some of the greatest moments our lives could have to offer or we could face some of the most devastating. All I know is that 2017 will be one of the most difficult years I will ever have to face as a parent, no matter what those days contain. Whether it be sorrow or joy. We have a long year ahead, watching our son face cancer and overcome posterior fossa syndrome. We have a long road ahead as a family in overcoming some of the hardest moments in a person's life.

As I look forward to 2017, I beg for this year to be merciful. I beg for it to hold joy. I beg for it to be filled with hope, joy and faith. As I journey through this year, the one thing I do know is that God will be carrying me every moment of every day. Because without faith and hope, I would never get from one day onto the next. Without looking for the joy in every moment, I will never get through all the moments of despair in between. I pray that this year holds a moment where we can shout Sammy is cancer free. I hope this year holds moments of him walking again and running after his little brother. I pray this year has him finding his voice again, and getting to hear the sweet words of "I love you too, mommy." I pray this year gives us moments of him going to school again with his friends and teachers. And him getting his next belt in karate. But my biggest hope is that we get to end 2017 as a healthy family, that we get to keep our Sammy. No matter what the details in-between may hold. That is my greatest hope for 2017.

As you each enter 2017, I challenge you to PRAY for our family everyday. PRAY for Sammy, Logan, Charles and myself. As we enter probably one of the longest, most trying years of our lives.

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