A big part of my reason for moving to this part of the world was to be close to my nieces. I didn't have any sisters. Then God saw fit to give me three boys (and honestly, there's not a one I would trade for a girl). By the time my niece Sarabeth was born it had been 33 years since we'd had a girl born into our family. (I have two nieces who came to us through marriage... they're not "steps", we love them just as if they'd been born to us) but it had been a long time since we had a baby girl to love from birth. When her little sidekick Jamie came along two years later, I was in Aunt Heaven. They were and are, everything I hoped for in having a little girl of my own but even better!
So when my life fell apart, five years ago today, and I woke up in the hospital under close observation... and had to start the process of figuring out where to go from there... I knew I wanted to be able to be a part of my nieces lives more often than just holidays and birthdays and funerals. I wanted to have a relationship with them. I wanted them to know me. I have far too many relatives that I never had the chance to know... and some that, through the magic of the internet, I'm growing closer to at my advanced age. But to really know these girls and be a part of their lives... that would help give me a reason to live. And at that point, that's what I needed more than anything, as reason to want to live.
For my first four years living here.... I was working full time, dealing with the stress of trying to keep Austin under control... and beginning some medical battles that eventually became too big for me to manage and work full time and be any help to anyone anywhere. I saw the girls here and there and we did make some special memories but I never got to spend the kind of time with them that I had hoped. Last Summer when I moved back to my parents house I had no idea that we'd find this house and that Pop would buy it so soon... and I had found a job down there that I loved so even though they were going to be moving back up here, I didn't know that I would be able to. I would have much rather been able to work longer, I would have preferred to be stronger. But that's not how it worked out.
So now here I am... with not much to do... nowhere to go... just hanging out trying to get ahead of the pain as best I can. So whenever I'm presented with an opportunity to spend time with my nieces, I'm always more than happy to do it. I can very easily hang out with them at their house just like I hang out here at this house. And so when it occurred to me the other day that my sister-in-law was out of town on business, her mom "grammy" was out of town for pleasure and my brother Jim had to sing at a funeral this evening... I counted heads and realized I was the only one available. Last man standing! Put me in, coach! I can do this!
I went over around 4:30 and hung out with the girls. There are some afternoon educational things they watch. Jamie had been tasked with cleaning the hallway between her room and her sisters. She kept asking me to come up and check and instead I gave her my camera and said, "take me a picture and we'll see...."
"Um... not there yet, honey.... give it a little more work...."
Then we started watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney version) because Jamie wants to be Esmerelda for Halloween. We had a deep discussion about the gypsy people and how there are still gypsys in our world and how they are usually very poor and very misunderstood. We also talked about the Cathedral of Notre Dame and why that would be a safe place. Very deep conversation for a Disney movie. I just like to bring a little something special to my movie watching. *eyeroll*
Then I went upstairs and helped a little with the clean up and organization. It wasn't perfect but we made progress. Then more movie and then their dad came home and we were done. Just a few hours... no greater discomfort than what I would have felt at home (although I have been battling a sinus headache most of the day that got worse this evening). Lots of precious time with my girls and even better... the feeling that there are still some things that I can do that make a difference. It was a good day.
At this very moment five years ago, doctors fighting to reverse the damage of the medications I took, trying to end my life. They were successful. By the grace of God, they were successful. And this life that I have now, even though I'm struggling because of my back and the overwhelming burden of chronic pain... this life is so much better than anything I could have possibly envisioned for myself. If you're in a place that feels hopeless, don't give up. Life if full of change. Surround yourself with good people. Have faith in God and faith in yourself. Just keep fighting.
That's what I'm doing... I just keep on fighting.
My head hurts too bad for any more mush... just know that if you don't know which way to go, get in touch with me. I'll help you find your path. I don't want anyone to ever feel like I did. No life is hopeless. No situation is hopeless. Hold on. Find something or someone who makes it worth getting up in the morning.
Thanks for hanging on along with me. Love and hugs!