Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Monday, June 22, 2015

I Think of Her...

There are very few moments when I don't think of her. Every time I look at Lorelei, I see bits of Leila. The dark hair, the feisty personality. The constant movement. Leila was always moving when she was alive. She was always throwing her limbs around like she was dancing. A tiny, tiny dancer.

Lorelei is a ball of fire. She is moving every second that she is awake. I often capture videos of her dancing to odd sounds that most would not interpret as music like the dog panting after coming inside, the faucet dripping, the washing machine in spin cycle, or even Landon laughing. She hears music that no one else can hear and she is always smiling. She is my little miracle and she reminds me of that every day.

But no matter how individual Lorelei's personality is, I will always think of Leila when I look at her. Before Lorelei was born, I was afraid that this would be a painful experience for me: to look at one child and think of another. I even worried it would be painful for Lorelei when she was older if she felt like I wished she was her sister or something like that. But honestly, it doesn't feel like that at all. It is a very complex, difficult thing to describe, but when I look at Lorelei, I feel hope. I feel love. I feel complete. I miss Leila every single day, but I feel her presence with us, as though she is always with her sister.

**Author's note 6/22/2015**

I wrote this over 2 years ago and for some reason, I never hit "publish". I am not sure why. But as I read this, 2 years later, I am smiling because I still feel exactly the same way, and Lorelei has only grown into a more precocious and outgoing little individual. She still marches to the beat of her own drummer - heck, she DANCES to that beat, wildly and without abandon. She has taught me so much about life and self acceptance. I have never met a little girl quite like my Lorelei.

It's About Time You Knew the Truth

It's been almost 2 years since I last posted on this blog. This beautiful blog, that I started one day when I was feeling empty and needed somewhere to escape, and that I continued to run to for support when my days got darkest.

But even on the darkest of days, and boy have we seen some dark ones together, I never let go of hope, and I never allowed myself to appear anything less than hopeful and positive about the future.

And two years ago, I stopped posting. Right when my life started to seem to come together the way it was supposed to, and things in my world finally started to appear to be going beautifully, I disappeared. Without a goodbye, without an explanation, without fanfare.

I just *poofed*.

And for 2 years I neglected to give this blog, this little escape I had built for myself in the cyber world, any attention because I had allowed myself to believe a number of things that I think I have finally realized aren't true.

First: I believed my readers (if I really even have any...) only wanted to see positivity and happiness. Perfection, or some semblance of it. Or just someone who could fake it. And quite frankly, I stopped being able to fake it.

Second: I didn't want to bring any more tragedy, sadness, or negativity into the lives of the people who have read my blog and followed my story for so long.

Third: I didn't want to let you guys down.

So in order to not disappoint you, let you down, or allow you to see how truly flawed I am, I ran away. I ran away from my life in Texas, I ran away from my blog, and I ran away from a lot of pain I had never fully dealt with.

For the past year and a half, I have finally been doing something I should have been doing from the start. I put myself on the priority list. I wasn't at the top, as that spot is currently very firmly held by my children, but for the first time in years, I was ON the list. Maybe even second.

I finished school, or at least, I got my undergraduate degree. I graduated with honors, walked across the stage, shook hands with the president of my school, and was given my diploma (or if you want to get technical, it was this cool book thing that my diploma will go in when it is mailed to me. Because that's how they do it now, in case you wondered). But don't be fooled, my journey isn't over yet. I still have to complete graduate school.

I changed my life. Yes that's a big bullet point. But really, I CHANGED MY LIFE. I started eating right, I started exercising, I lost 30ish pounds, and I learned how to love the person in the mirror. For five years I looked in the mirror and became further removed from the person I saw looking back at me. I quietly and privately hated her. I struggled with body image, self acceptance, and had impossibly low self esteem. I didn't just hate the way I looked, I hated who I WAS. I hated my life, the way I felt, the things that had happened to me over the years. I blamed myself for Leila's death and never fully let go of the guilt, shame, and disappointment that losing a child can cause you to feel. But in the past year and a half, I have learned so much about myself and just how strong I am. It hasn't been easy, but I am still here, and I don't plan on going anywhere any time soon.

So here's the truth that I have come to realize: I am extremely, incredibly, without a doubt, riddled with flaws. I am so imperfect that I allowed myself to believe that no one would want to take the time to read anything someone as flawed as I am might have to say or share. But I finally had an epiphany I wish I would have had a year ago:

When I fall down, I have to get back up eventually, and as hard as it may be to get back up, when I succeed in doing that, I have learned something. I have conquered something out there that knocked me down, and may be knocking others down, too. If by sharing my journey, and all its ups and downs, I can help even just ONE person pick themselves back up and keep going, then this blog has succeeded.

So let me take one second to apologize for the flawed person that I am, but even more than that, let me apologize for not sharing that truth with you sooner, so that I might be able to help inspire or encourage other flawed humans out there who are just trying to make their way in the world.

I am not going to promise to blog more often, or to share recipes or craft ideas, because I really don't know what my involvement with this blog is going to be in the future. I just wanted to let you all know that I am still here, I still have love for all my readers throughout the years, and I am still pushing on, day in and day out.

Embrace your flaws. As soon as you do that, you will realize that they were strengths all along.