Today....November 9....4 full years away from the big ole' stroke. I've been so very peaceful and calm today. It's been a day of celebration, just as I had hoped for.
The nine o'clock hour nears and before I am aware it was creeping up, anxiety has arrived. Painful memories flood my spirit and fear fills my mind. Flashback to roaring helicopter sounds hovering, eyes darting from side to side, screaming for Nathan, bouncing off of invisible walls, uncontrollable vomiting - and then, hearing Nathan talk with physician friends on the phone asking what to do. The kind paramedics come into our home to help ME. My Daddy kneels near my head and keeps me from choking, my Momma and my sister are soothing, Nathan is preparing me to go to the hospital, John is scared, Stella is asleep, the dog won't leave my side....flood flood flood and I am afraid. So.very.afraid.
But it's different this year. The anxiety came, I acknowledged it, I felt the weight of that night for a few moments and allowed myself to mourn what I lost through that 'accident'. And just as quickly as the anxiety crept in, it is replaced by the same peace and calm I had all day long. I don't even know how I got to this place but I am so thankful I am arriving here; always arriving. I am ever grateful that although fear is sometimes a part of my journey, fear is not the determinate of my life. In the past, I have counted down the days until today, I have counted the moments until 9:04 or 9:06 or whatever time it was that I remember seeing the clock change. Tonight, I find great value in not remembering the exact time I am supposed to remember. More proof to me that I am beginning to release the pain and invite the peace.
This morning, our beautiful sister friend, Holly took our family pictures as she does every November 9. The gifts she gave us this morning are etched permanently in my heart. Her facebook page is by Holly Peevyhouse, called 'Capturing Beautiful'. It is certainly worth your time to visit her page. Holly has a gift of not only capturing beauty on film but for capturing the true spirits of those in the story she is telling. It is the first time in months that we have laughed as a family. The beauty of this time set the tone for my day. Holly's talent, laughter and gentle spirit bestowed blessings on us beyond anything I could have imagined.
The rest of this day included a great family breakfast at IHOP, visiting my Momma and Daddy, watching Stella gracefully and joyfully iceskate, napping, getting endless hugs and I love you's from John, watching Nathan tear out our kitchen cabinets, spending time with a few of my precious nieces, many prayers, coffee, writing and loving on fur babies.
What an extraordinarily beautiful day it has been. I have said what I needed to say, I have loved big, been genuinely kind, and I have been loved well. I have big plans for this next year...starting now, in this moment.