Dear 16 year old me,
You’re gonna be okay. These overwhelming feeling of insecurity and intrusive thoughts are part of a life long anxiety disorder, probably a chemical imbalance and you will eventually figure that out. You’re not broken or awful.
It’s okay that you’ve not had a boyfriend, yet. You’re going to find an incredible boy who will grow up to be an even more incredible man. You are gorgeous, smart and powerful. It’s okay to be a strong woman. Your strength will serve you well in the future. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not and who you are, is incredible. You’ve got this!
Dear 26 year old me,
3 kids, eh? You’re a rockstar!
That littlest one you’re holding?!? He is going to teach you more than you ever imagined was possible. You are going to learn patience and compassion, communication, persistence, gentleness, love, and so much more.
You’ve got a lot of life ahead of you and lots that I wish I could protect you from. You’re in for a world of heartbreak, trauma and devastation; but the flip side of all of that hurt is the most glorious awareness of grace and mercy. You are going to learn to love, have compassion and care for others in a way that will rock your world, in the best way possible.
That strength I mentioned earlier, it will do you well as we navigate these dark days ahead. You will survive. I promise. Even though it may feel like you could die from the pain and heartbreak, I can promise you that you won’t. You’ve got this!
Dear 36 year old me,
Can you believe that we have 5 incredible kids? Those 2 miracle boys born after all those losses…..AMAZING, eh? It’s a lot of work, but this second round of parenting is so much easier than the first round, isn’t it?
You thought the losses were tough but you’ve got another decade of unfathomable heart break. Between 3 years of Pediatric Cancer treatment, the physical, mental and emotional fallout from the treatment, mental health issues, trauma, school issues, and so much more – this is the decade that is going to really test you. Even though you will feel that you are walking a fine line between surviving and breaking, you will survive.
This is the decade that you learn just exactly how strong you are. Even if you wish you weren’t as strong because you’re exhausted and sometimes you wish it would all just go away or stop – you’ve got this. One day, one hour, one moment, one breath at a time. Breathe girl, breathe! This season won’t last forever.
Dear 46 year old me,
I truly wonder what this next decade will bring. I’d like to believe that the pain of the previous 2 decades will lighten up some. It’s been intense enough to last a lifetime. But the gifts that have come along side the pain have been glorious. In spite of all that we’ve been through, we’ve had the most incredible life and it’s not over yet!
You are wise! You are strong! You are brave! You are beautiful! Trust yourself! Trust your instincts! Believe in yourself! Believe that you have a voice! Believe that your dreams are valid and important! Believe that you can affect positive change in the world! Believe that you are a strong and powerful women. Know that your strength is one of your super-powers. Keep going to counselling! Keep reaching for inner healing! Have patience with yourself! You are a work in progress. You’ve got this!