Where do I even begin?
You were home to some of the best and some of the worst moments and days of my life. You wrapped up a twisted wild ride and delivered it over a decade. I experienced more love and joy than I ever dreamed possible. I became a doer, a seeker and a light in a world filled with so much darkness. I became other things too; some I’m still trying to understand.
I Became a wife and gained and amazingly beautiful extended family…
The year I became a wife was the same year I experienced the loss of a miscarried child. Even though our love overflowed at the thought of growing our family, we weren’t on the same page. You had completely different plans and just before my 35th we lost the baby we hoped would grow our family. Rattled and broken hearted, still, we carried on.
Some friendships were deepened, some were lost completely and many new bonds were created. You pushed me so much I barely recognize the woman I was at the brink of this decade. Although unbeknownst to most, even those those who know me best I feel like I’ve grown into a completely different person.
This decade took three grandparents, dear friends of our friends, and even parents of those we love deeply. This decade changed me in ways that can never be undone. My views and my heart forever altered & my life barely recognizable. Time stood completely still and yet despite everything my heart kept beating.
The miracle the last decade delivered…
The decade before made me a mom and bestowed a miracle upon us. One we saw unfold with our very eyes. One that taught us to believe. One that gave us eleven more years. Eleven more birthdays and halloweens, eleven more Christmases and New Year’s. Eleven more years of adventures and magic. Eleven more years bonding and growing together before this decade made me a member of club I never wanted to be a part of.
You took so much…
Although you gave so much, what you took was so unfair. You took my sweet Braedon just four months after his eighteenth birthday. You took away the life we were promised, the future we thought we’d have. You’ve shaken me to my very core and brought me to my knees again and again. You’ve pulled the air from my lungs, wiped the smile from my face, the joy from my eyes and taken away the very best part of me. You filled my dreams with anguish, made it hard to breathe and even harder to feel whole. You took away parts of me that I can never get back.
Some may even say that you broke me…
There are scars that will never heal, there is no denying that. There are bumps and bruises and so many pieces it would be impossible for my heart to ever be the same. I want you to know though, those scars, those cracks, they just let the light in. I want you to know that I am still here. I want you to know that I refuse to give up. I refuse to take for granted what was taken from my boy; the gift of life. The gift of time. So through the hardest moments of my life I carry on. I cry until I have no tears left. I take time to honor my feelings. I near drowned in sorrow so many times but I survived and I keep on surviving. I get back up again and again.
So, to the decade that tried to break me…
I am still here. I am stronger, braver and wiser than I’ve ever been.
You cracked me open but I still shine. I shine even brighter now because I shine for Braedon now too.
I’ve taken everything you delivered in the twisted wild ride over the last decade and I’ve turned it into something beautiful. I turned it into giving back and remembering Braedon in the most special way possible. I turned it into something the delivers smiles to those who face the unimaginable. I’ve turned it into hope for those who feel like they are drowning. I’ve turned it into a promise; a promise to Braedon that I will never stop trying to make him proud. That I will honor him with my life by continuously pushing and striving to become the most extraordinary and bravest version of me.
This was a decade that made me a bereaved mom.
This was a decade that taught me lessons through grief and heartache.
This was the decade that showed me the cost of true love.
This was the decade that changed me forever.
Despite everything though this was also a decade filled with love, filled with connection, community and growth. This decade showed me what I’m made of.
It’s hard to think about this new decade, knowing Braedon will never be a part of it. I remind myself though, that the lessons I’ve learned from him and continue to learn from him will carry me through anything this decade throws at me. I remind myself that he was here and the impact of his life will shine on in this decade too.
To the decade that tried to break me, I’m still standing. I still shine.
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