It is the new year - we dip apples in honey, and feel the tart burst of apple mix with the sweetness of honey on our tongues. Life is like this, isn't it? Always some tartness mixed with some sweet. The rub is learning to focus on the sweetness; of course, the tartness is always mixed into the background, that is part of life.
I am finding, now that there is some stillness - no longer constantly functioning in the sleep-deprived survival mode - that there is time to think. Time to think back on all that has transpired in the last two years. There wasn't really time to reflect before now. In order to keep on moving, I had to put everything in its own box. But I think now, part of moving forward is letting everything come out of its box. Letting the tartness wash over me.
It's okay to admit, that while the last two years brought us such unimaginable joy with the healthy birth of our babies and the way our boys lovingly welcomed their sisters into our family, the last two years were also really hard. Really really hard. I was sick or on modified bed rest for most of my pregnancy. My father-in-law was diagnosed with terminal melanoma and died after valiantly fighting the illness for only four months. My step-mother died unexpectedly after a head injury, though she had been battling various health issues for much of her life. My father died, from a combination of physical and mental challenges that he had been struggling with for a large portion of his life. My role has changed - I no longer work outside the home. I love this new role, as a stay-at-home mom, but it requires some recalibration and exploration as well.
Breathe in and out. Acknowledge and mourn for all that is lost. It doesn't negate the joy and happiness that currently exists. It's important to feel the ups and the downs, the waxing and the waning. As we prepare for Yom Kippur, we think of those we have lost, of those who have gone before. I miss you, Win. I miss you, Nancy. I miss you, Dad. I hear your voices in the wind, and I remember you.
But still. I love you, my husband. I love you, my children. I love you, my mother, my brother. I love you, my mother-in-law, my Nana. I love you, my family, and my friends. I am happy, and the sun shines on my face. We pick apples and pumpkins, we rake and jump in leaves. We focus each day on the hours ahead, the joy in what is in front of us. We nod to the whispers on our shoulders, those who wish they were still here. We breathe in and out and embrace the day.