As a child of no older than 3, I have a very, very early memory. One of those memories where everything is beautiful and ethereal and lit by the sun. Our next door neighbors were an older couple that took pride and joy in their yard. In particular, their walkway lined with large, fragrant rose bushes. I mentioned that I was no older than 3, but even 3 is pushing it…I was young. I still remember the magical feeling when I would walk along those rose bushes and run into a strip of ground that had several hand prints pressed into the now hard cement with names scrawled next to each pair. I would kneel down and fit my tiny hand into the middle of one of those hands, fascinated that someone was able to push into cement hard enough to leave an impression. I traced the fingers back and forth. I didn’t completely understand that these hands had been pushed into newly laid, wet cement but, I was amazed with it nonetheless. I swore to myself that one day I would figure out a way to have my own families handprints molded into a cement pad of my own. Freezing the documented magic forever. Read More
Can I confess something? If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this about me. I am obsessed with podcasts….murder, true crime podcasts in particular! I have mentioned this before, but seriously, I probably have real issues. I now trust no one and my main goal in life has become to not raise a serial killer. Fingers crossed we accomplish that one. On a less serial killer note, I now feel like I am living in the 1950’s. “Be sure to drink your ovaltine”…..You win if you know what I am talking about. Read More
Sometimes it is hard to notice. The day to day is stressful, there is always something to want more of and it is easy to forego gratitude. A while ago I began waking up each morning, immediately shifting my mind to things I am grateful for. Every morning, before I even open my eyes, I mentally list off the things I am grateful for. Sometimes it is huge things and sometimes it is something as simple as feeling grateful for the sleep I just woke up from. Sometimes it is hard for me to see through the fog of stress to see the things that make me happy, but looking back on my life when Hayes was here, I feel overwhelmingly grateful for so many things. I recently read a quote that could not be more true and more applicable to my own situation.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Isn’t that so how life is? It is easier to feel grateful when you are seeing things in hind sight. But, if there is anything Hayes taught me, it is that life is full of little things to feel grateful for! So, I am launching a 5 Things to be grateful for series. Once a month I will list off 5 things I am feeling grateful for. I am hoping it changes my outlook more permanently! I am hoping it reminds me to be more present and I am hoping it helps me feel more happiness during the dark days and moments.
1 – Reality TV … I know this seems incredibly shallow and unimportant, but you know what? Sometimes I need the mindless distraction. Sometimes I need to forget myself and sometimes I need a good laugh. Reality TV is one of those things for me that allows me to turn my mind off. When Hayes was in the hospital, I would put him to bed and lie in my little corner of the hospital room and watch my crap. Lift my mind out of the heaviness of childhood cancer. It was and still is a magical distraction.
2 – Coke Zero … Here is the devastating thing about Coke Zero, they are discontinuing it. Steve and I felt like crawling into the fetal position and crying many times today after hearing the news, but we stayed strong and cracked open a few extra cans of burning liquid to show appreciation for our favorite source of “hydration”….in all honesty, it really is something I am grateful for. Every day, when Hayes would take a nap, I would leave the room, go for a walk and purchase an ice cold fountain drink and the miracle was that they had Coke Zero! It was my daily vacation from the cancer unit.
3 – Summer Nights …. I am so not looking forward to fall because it means giving up the gift of summer evenings. I love when the sun is going down and everyone glows gold. I love how the air is still warm from the day. I love how lately there has been a slight breeze and birds have been chirping in the trees. I love laying on the tramp and staring up at the darkening sky and thinking of my boy. Completely immersing myself in the memories of Hayes. Escaping for a minute. It is heaven.
4 – Social Media … it is so interesting when people have such disdain for social media. I would have agreed with these people in the past, before Hayes got sick, but I think it is one of the greatest gifts of my life. Like anything, there are negative aspects, but mostly, it is a network of strangers that love and support one another. I feel lifted up daily by good people around the world that send me messages of support and love. I will always be grateful for the community and tribe that lift me up. I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you. I thank each of you for your part in my journey.
5 – I-Phone … no question, my most prized possession outside of my family, is my phone. Weird right? But, so, SO true. The amount of pictures and videos that I have on my phone of Hayes is unbelievable! Before smart phones, I never took time to document. But, every detail, every single beautiful moment was captured. I find a new video at least once a week and a new photo once a day of my perfect little boy. What an incredible blessing! That is why, my phone is my most prized possession. It is my link to my boy. A promise to myself that I won’t forget.