Yes, I’ve been *quiet* on here for a while. No, my silence is not to be interpreted as meaning that nothing has happened with me. Everything has happened, and I’ve done my best to keep you all updated on the highlights via my Facebook page and Twitter account.
For starters, I turned 26 last month. I didn’t think I would be looking forward to it, but the week before my birthday, my family planned a last-minute trip to Puerto Rico, since we’re not going this Christmas. I ended up staying longer than a week, and ringing in my birthday with some of my favorite ladies!
We didn’t really plan on staying for Thanksgiving, so that was an unexpected surprise, too. While from a tourist’s perspective, this wasn’t probably the most eventful vacation on the island, I have to say, I think I explored Puerto Rico a lot more than I had anticipated. (I will be updating more on that on my other blog, Espresso con Leche soon!)
The highlight of everything was having the unexpected opportunity to spend both my birthday and Thanksgiving, as well as several other treasured moments, with family and close friends. I didn’t realize just how homesick I had been.
After I returned, as I caught up on my Facebook feed, I read posts from anguished parents who are already having to spend the holidays with a child who has complications from spina bifida. That’s always hard for me to read, as I look at everything I’ve been blessed with, and feel unworthy.
But, I realize that the most important thing is to not take any of it– or anyone– for granted.
It is with this thought in mind that I finally caved into the earliest holiday social media trend– by participating in the “30 Days of Thanks” daily habit. Each day, or night, I would post one thing I was grateful for in my life. I quickly found that keeping up with this routine is easier said than done, and I would often have to catch up the following day with two things I was grateful for. But, no matter– there were plenty of things to come up with.
Each day, I posted my gratitude for abstract concepts like “time” and “faith,” or for more tangible (or audible?) things, like my parents, my laptop, and my bilingualism.
On “Day 10,” I thanked my amazing Spina Bifida community! Words truly can’t adequately express just how Blessed I feel that you’re all a part of this journey with me. I’ve learned a lot, especially from the moms, who have given me the gift of a perspective I never imagined I’d have. You’ve all taught me so much about what true sacrifice and devotion is.
And last night– as I sat down to reflect on what I’m grateful for, for the very last time, I realized I wasn’t even close to being finished. But, I did want to end in a way that is open-ended and subject to wide interpretation. I thanked God for my faith, because without it, nothing could have sustained me throughout the challenging times.
I realize that people, events, things, and often even places will let you down, but faith is a steadfast pillar of support, the cornerstone of endurance. So, whether it’s faith in God, faith in the inherent goodness of humanity, faith in the power of something so simple as a smile, I hope you have this and that it helps keep you warm at night, like it has for me.
To the parents who have been Blessed with a child with spina bifida, I say, keep doing what you’re doing, and keep cherishing those wonderful moments, because believe me, there will be more of these if you just hang on.
Thank you all for your continued support, and thank you God for Blessing me with another amazing year of life.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
© 2012, Laurita. All rights reserved.