Usually when I come "back home" I feel like a teenager again, 17 years old and flying down a backcountry road with my windows down, singing at the top of my lungs or admiring the beauty of the irrigation sprinklers softly spraying their water show over stunning fields of alfalfa. I pass by old haunts and find new trails. I visit loved ones and drive through town, stopping at my favorite shops and scooting into a booth at our family's restaurant.
This time has been different for so many reasons. There is little freedom in illness. There is little joy in being sick and away from home. I always felt that when I came back to my hometown I was coming home but now I realize that my true home is the one Nick and I have made together, hundreds of miles away.
I stayed up late talking about this with my Dad and he shared with me the idea of our "little families" and "big families." Our little families are the ones we make with our partners, our husbands, our wives, the ones that include our children and ourselves and since Nick and I have been struggling so much to start our own little family, coming home alone at 29 feels like puzzle pieces that don't quite fit. I miss Nick, I miss the rhythms of our life, I miss our dogs Britta and Coleman and our cat Laila, I miss the little family we have built for ourselves there and seeing everyone I love here with their little families makes my heart feel somehow out of place.
I can also feel how badly my big family wants to begin the next chapter in our lives as an extended family, how badly my Dad wants to be a grandfather, how much everyone wants the next generation to be part of our lives together and I feel somehow very old.
This is the nature of illness and infertility, as soon as we let those thoughts have a moment of freedom to run amuck in our minds, they explode.
So I say, this trip may change me but I will find ways for it to change me for the better. Yesterday and the day before I snuggled with my sweet little cousin on giant floaties in my Auntie's pool and looked up at the bluejays soaring around in the sky, the hummingbirds floating in the air, the gentle splashes of the people I love kicking their feet lazily in the water and I felt happy again.
What we need might not be our big family or little family at all but just love, just peacefulness and togetherness and a smile and a hug and open arms.
Today I hope you open your arms to someone you consider to be family and snuggle them close. I hope you acknowledge your pain & let the thoughts of it float away in the breeze. We might not be able to change what our bodies do but we can always change the course of thoughts in our mind & the course of runaway emotions in our hearts. Let your heart runaway with loving emotions, let your mind say to your body, "I love you, I honor you, and I choose to only think positive thoughts about you." And then honor your body with healthy food, with consistent exercise, whatever you are capable of doing. And then honor your mind by surrounding yourself with people who lift you up. Let love and laughter nourish your soul.
Lots of Love,
*I do NOT own the rights to this song or video, those belong to Cross Canadian Ragweed, their record label and affiliates.