Friday, September 21, 2012


Dear 33rd Year of My Life,

Today is the last day we shall be together. Tomorrow your term will come to an end and you will be replaced by 34.

It's been and interesting year with you, 33. Many wonderful and happy things have come during your term...but I will forever remember you for some of the most difficult and trying times of my life, thus far. Now, I know that it isn't really your fault, 33. These things came to pass in their own time...they just happen to fall under your term of office. They have nothing to do with you in particular. I don't dislike you for these things, and I guess that because of them you will become seemingly infamous to me. I can see myself years in the future saying "Well, when I was 33..." followed by the telling of one riveting story or another.

During your time in my life I watched my baby get his first teeth, grow leaps and bounds, take his first step and celebrate his first birthday. I watched my girl turn three, learn how to use the potty, grow long locks of strawberry blond hair, become a ballerina...and a self-proclaimed princess. I watched my big boy turn five, head off to "real" school, develop an amazing artistic side and wow me with his capacity to learn. I celebrated 11 years of marriage to my favorite guy and best friend...the man who stands beside me in good and bad and usually spoils me rotten...and have watched him continue to be the best father I could ever imagine to our kids. I have celebrated huge triumphs and small victories, experienced unbelievable joy, laughed more than I can say and performed more happy dances than I care to admit (just ask Randy, he has video proof :) ).

But, 33, you've had a dark side as well.

While you were around I watched my mother become a breast cancer survivor. I watched my father-in-law undergo triple bypass heart surgery. I have seen friends come and go. I watched family members suffer pain and sorrow. I discovered unfavorable things about my own sick troubled heart (which, by the way thank you for making that the grand finale to our time together). You, dearest 33, will more than likely be remembered for these things. I isn't fair, I'm sorry it has to be this way...but I think overall it may just be for the better.

You see, 33, despite this darkness...or should I say because of these dark times you have been a most astounding year. You, 33, have made me a grown up. Granted, the new heart and kidney medications, numerous visits to urology and nephrology and sitting around in the cardiac waiting room (in which I am the youngest patient by a good twenty years) have certainly helped make me feel much older! But...that isn't what I mean.

I have been forced to look far beyond myself. I have watched the power of prayer accomplish things that only God could do for me and for my loved ones. I have witnessed His mercy, love and protection in ways that many people may never see. I have watched as tough times have brought so many people closer together, taught us to love deeper and to take less for granted. I have come to realize that I still have much to accomplish during my time here on earth, and it should be spent a bit more purposefully.

I have been on the precipice of this break through for a while. I think that this heart episode is what pushed me over the edge. You see, despite what was going on with my heart...and the vast unknown of what that day held for me...I wasn't afraid. I know you think I'm lying...but I'm totally not. And even in those few minutes before they put me to sleep and shocked my heart back to normal...I was not afraid. And, by the way, I chalk that up to the army of people out there praying for me and the peace that God gave me...not my own bravado. But I realized that there just isn't much to fear.

What I don't want to ever experience again is sitting in a hospital room all alone wondering what the last thing I said to each of my kids was. Would they remember all the times I yelled at them about the messes they made or the times we snuggled together to read or watch The Lorax for the 40th time? Would they remember the lack of patience I had with their slowness or the praises I gave them for their successes? And overall, how much have they experienced more of? The good in me or the bad? And not just them, but the other people in my Randy. Is there one single thing that I have accomplished in this life of mine that has made the slightest difference to anyone? Have I done enough? Have I done anything? What would God say if we were standing face to face? That, 33, was a tough pill to swallow.

So...I think my motto for 34 will be "WHY NOT?" Why? Well, because I am choosing not to dwell in the land of pity or sorrow and I certainly don't want to fear a future full of "what ifs!" I have a lot of work to do, no time for regrets. I have no idea what this future will look like, but I'll find out soon enough.

So, why not?

No more worrying that it will be too hard or too frightening. No more fearing what others may think. No more stress about appearances. I want to celebrate life! Whoa, that was cheesy. But really, I want to have a meaningful life that pleases God. And while there are certainly things in this life that will (and do) break my heart and things that will (and do) bring me to my knees...I know that there is a greater purpose beyond anything I can comprehend...and it is good. Trust. Faith. That's all I have... and all I need.

I have complete faith in the plans God has for me...whatever they may be. And, while I certainly am not perfect in any way, I will be working hard on this. Hopefully I will succeed more than I fail.

Let's just do it...why not? What's the worst that can happen?

I think it will be fun.

So, 33, I think this is goodbye. Thanks for everything, I wish you all the best. I wish our time together could be longer but I think we have gleaned from each other all that we needed.

Oh, but 33...if you have any inclination to do so...I wouldn't mind if you'd put a good word in for me with 34. While I look forward to all the future has in store, I wouldn't mind if 34 was a bit more...shall we say, boring! Farewell 33! I will remember you fondly.

All my best,