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  • awalto29

Understanding My Worth and My Value

I am learning where I excel. There are so many areas of life where I have felt that I have failed or where I have felt like a failure, but I am learning how I can excel. I am haunted by the reminders of the things that Adeline told me, like that I was the best mommy in the world and that she loved me so much...these were the last words that she said to me before we started going down those stairs. (They were not the last words she spoke to me as those were when I was screaming up the stairs because I could not get through the smoke and I was begging her to come down and she let me know that she was okay and right here just before collapsing from smoke inhalation.) I miss her little encouraging words and her beautiful spirit so much. I need her. I don't know how else to say this, but I need her in a way that I can't describe.

When you think about loss and grief you assume that it is the big days that will hurt the most, the birthdays, the holidays, the big moments that have been taken from you....but I have found that there is profound sorrow in the mundane, in the everyday tasks and the little moments. Like this little moment where we were eating out and the kids got fried ice cream to share. It is in these little moments that my heart breaks completely....I just miss having her here living life with us. Each meal out, each hike with the family, each day at the park flying kites or drones, each time that we go swimming, each car ride between Canton and Peoria, each time her favorite song gets played, each time that we have a family meal is all like a piece of my heart breaks off never to be found again.

My most recent crisis with my MS. I had to take a step back, shed a bucket worth of tears, watch some bad movies on LMN, and just let myself come to terms with this might not be the right time for me. I am okay now. I had to take a step back and focus on what is most important in my life and what direction I want my life to go now. Do I really need to adjunct college classes and take on that stress this time? If I am being honest, the answer is no. There is absolutely not one reason that I could come up with as to why I NEED my MS right now. I WANT my MS, but it is not a need. I have been learning to focus on my needs, not my wants.

My Current Needs

#1 -- I Need to Focus on My Children

We have all been through a lot. My children have suffered the loss of their sister, their littlest love....and in one case their best friend. That heartache can be seen in their eyes. It can be seen masked behind their smiles. I need to be a good mom and to be able to focus on my kids. My MS program was taking up a lot of my time and my focus many nights has been locked in a bedroom or in my office reading and writing. Once I have finished my FOS exam, my kids will have their mom back. We will be able to watch more family movies and to play more family games. We will be able to spend more time together.

#2 -- I Need to Focus on My Own Health and Wellness

There are some things that I need to do in order to be sure that I do my best to live as long as possible for my children. One of these is that I need to be able to focus on my mental health and the things that help me. These things are (1) my blogging, (2) yoga, (3) journaling, (4) meditation, (5) eating healthier and making the majority of our meals at home, and (6) working out on a regular and consistent basis. I have let all of these things go. I will do good for a bit and then I stop when stress reaches it's peak and I am trying to figure out how I will get everything done. I end up putting my own mental and physical health last and if I do not change these things, I am not going to live a long life with my children. I have to make these changes.

#3-- I Need an Outlet to Give Back for Adeline

I know that I have said this before, but Adeline was the most amazing human that I have ever known. Her heart was as big as she was and she always was thinking of ways to do for others, to create happiness for others, and to give back. I need to find an outlet to give back and channel all of the energy that I used to spend doing these things with Adeline and I want to do in a way that will honor her. My goal is to start a 501(c) in her name in January 2023. I am hopeful that her charity will give me a space to carryout my love for her physically by showing love to others just as she would have.

#4 -- I Need to Focus on How I Can Make a Difference in the Lives of Others

I really want to focus on how I am able to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I want to do something impactful and I feel a greater need to fulfill this purpose as I know that Adeline would have impacted others. I am still hearing stories that I have not heard before and meeting people who know a child who claims to be one of her best friends that I have never met. This means that Adeline was truly a friend to all. She had friends everywhere and everyone truly loved her. I want to be a shining example of what she taught me which was to forgive with ease, to love with my whole heart, and to put others before myself. She truly taught me some of the greatest lessons that I have learned in life. I used to be quick to anger and quick to call people out, but lately I have had a quieter and a gentler approach and I have noticed that my soul has felt lighter. Perhaps, this was the greatest lesson that I could have ever learned in life and I am so lucky that I truly got to learn it from the best.

#5 -- I Need to Learn to Give Myself the Same Grace that I So Freely Offer Others

I am the first person to offer grace to others. I am always encouraging my friends, reminding them that they are beautiful, telling those who struggle with things that I do how much they mean to me and how much things that they worry with do not matter. Then there is how I treat myself. I rarely forgive myself for the wrongs that I have made. I rarely allow myself to feel proud of my accomplishments or happy with the things that I have done as I always expect myself to do more, to be more, to give more...the list goes on but I am sure that you get the idea. I need to learn how to give myself that grace that I share with others. I need to learn to forgive myself fast like I forgive those around me. I need to learn to think about myself as I have always thought of others, to see the beauty that I hold and to quit focussing on all that I see as wrong with myself.

I am a work in progress...we all are. I know that I will never stop trying.

I had a dream the other night where Adeline came to me and I have been haunted by the words that have followed me after this dream. I have been thinking about how I had this overwhelming sense after this dream that Adeline accomplished her purpose in life in a short time and then she was taken from this earth. I believe with all of my heart now that we each have a purpose. I do believe that most of us are destined to remain on this earth until we reach our full purpose (whether or not others in our lives understand what our purpose was or understand why our purpose couldn't have been something that took longer). I know that Adeline's purpose was to teach us how to love, to teach us how to trust in God and to have faith that we will all be reunited again, to give us a reason to believe in the things that we questioned for so long. I hate the fact that God took my little girl or that God gave my little this purpose for her life. I hate that this is the life that I am living now, a life that does not have her here with me....but I know that I will see her again because of the promise that God made in the Bible. I know that God will allow me to be reunited with her and that I will hold her again in my arms. I can't wait for that day to be able to see my beautiful little angel running towards me as I run to her with open arms.

I have been challenged since having this dream with a determination to fulfill my purpose in life too. I do think that this is what is a bigger part of our pathway to Heaven and an eternal afterlife (whether you call it Heaven or not does not matter, it is the term that I choose to use, but this is not to say that this the only term or that other terms for the afterlife are wrong). I have always said that there is no way that just one religion has it right. So many religions have so many beautiful things about them that they cannot all be wrong but one. I don't know that the full truth is published and I often question whether or not our feeble human brains are capable of fully understanding what this truth is. I actually think that we are not able to understand it all and that is why there are so many different versions of faith.

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