This weekend brought some milestones for our family. We celebrated a big day for Ronan, who turned ten on the 21st, and we remembered my best friend’s baby who passed away a year ago on the 22nd. My emotions were tossing and turning knowing that each day was approaching: Ronan’s birthday where we would joyously celebrate another year of his life, and the anniversary commemorating the baby’s short life before an unexpected death. I flipped from extremely excited and giddy to somber and reflective. Trying to keep somewhat focused—as it was still a regular week for us chock full of appointments and school—was difficult. Added to my ever-changing emotions included getting a call from Ronan’s school when he had seizures midweek. Stress crept in as another one of my kids got sick and missed school several days which in turn limited every one of my last-minute Christmas preparations. We had holiday visitors arriving and a homecoming to prepare for as well as my husband was due to return from 4 months of extended travel. You may wonder how I survived last week at all. It was a week full of excitement, grief, struggle, celebration with some yearned-for peace. Add in dealing with the repercussion of last week’s wandering scare while ordering items for our search-and-go bags (which will hang by the front door from now on), and I am surprised that I am still standing, too!
While reflecting on how full last week was, and who was involved in each of those events that brought varying feelings, made me pause. It’s a lot to handle in a short amount of time. But, each event revolved around life, life that is precious and filled with reminders that are the many blessings that fill my life—including some pain and suffering because that too is part of living.
I live for the people I am immediately surrounded by. They are the ones who need my undivided attention and bring me great joy. They require my help and desire my support. I depend on these people just as much because make my world go round. Where would I be without them? More importantly, who would I be without them? Their situation, our situations, can cause me to crumble in a moment’s notice. But, it’s through these people, and how I was blessed to know them, that brings me life—life that I am grateful for and one that is full of so many reasons to live.
Last week has come and gone. The celebration of Ronan’s birthday is now a happy memory. The anniversary of a life lost remains a sober remembrance. Intense emotions have subsided with new ones are just moments away. Homecoming plans and Christmas preparations have been fulfilled, and our family is complete again. As my children get ready to observe Baby Jesus’ birthday in just a few days, my request to you as we enter what I believe is one of the holiest weeks on the calendar is to look at those people nearest you who make you who you are—your children, your immediate family, your spouse, those who you wish were flesh and blood, and even those who impact you negatively—all of these people affect you, your abilities and your choices. They have in some way shaped you. They depend on you for every single want, need or skill they may never develop.
This season of Christmas is filled with remembrances, past and present, and of the love that motivates what I do and why I live. I pray that you, too, are filled with joy and hope, and that the blessings of your life bring you love, life and peace.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.