I'm going to warn you: this post is going to be woefully inadequate. But, I'm going to try. And I might add to it for my own use and remembrance.
1. I believe what I always said I believed about God. And perhaps a little more I wasn't so sure I honestly believed--like how He's always Good. That's my Big Spiritual Takeaway.
2. My list of blessings is no longer simply things and events I perceive as good, although I still have those kinds of blessings: we had enough money for the air conditioner that had to be replaced; our 11 year old Saturn is still running on duct tape and prayers; I got a job teaching aikido on sheer serendipity. The "other" blessings: the hope of seeing Garrett whole and healthy someday; incredible friends who supported us when we couldn't stand; the strength to move through the worst; the knowledge that, yes, I am healthy today because God is Good but that even if I weren't healthy, He is still good.
3. Ok, so I already know this but 2011 reinforced it: Mike is pretty awesome. One of my friends chalked it up to luck that Mike and I got together with minimal drama at 22 and 25 (or, as minimally dramatic as meeting and getting married can get. If you ask Mike, it was full of drama and hijinks. He has no idea, lol). I don't think that's entirely true because we were darn methodical with how we dated and got to know each other but even if it was luck--it's been nearly 10 years and he's still my favorite person. We've certainly been through the ringer this past year. And you know what? I like him even more than I did before. We're slowly getting back to normal(ish) life and it's been kind of neat to watch his happiness levels increase alongside my health levels. Have I mentioned I'm ridiculously blessed?
4. I also already knew this: Autumn is pretty awesome. She's been a trooper. This little girl has been such a blessing to everyone from us to Penny to Lainey and P'd during this time of loss. Before she was born I prayed she'd be a child of love and joy and smiles and holy cow is she that. She misses "her baby Garrett" and tries her best to understand everything. I love her funny questions, partly because I get to talk to her about Garrett and they make me smile although it's sad that she has to think about these things--the latest involved whether or not baby Garrett lived in the manger with the animals like baby Jesus when he was born.
5. The human body is amazing although I probably have to give a shout out to sheer strength of will. I've been told by many people that me walking about like I have been is nothing short of miraculous. I left the hospital 6 months ago grateful to be alive and just hoping to be able to walk well again. It's a strange thing to be carrying boxes down from the attic and suddenly be overwhelmed with thankfulness that I can do such a mundane task.
6. Deliberately cultivating strong relationships is among the best things Mike and I have ever done and we need to keep it up/improve our efforts. Our community group, our families, our friends are all part of the reason we are as emotionally healthy as we have been. This time has been a remarkable time of discovering who it is we value and who values us.
I could probably do a post on each one of those items and I am sure there are things I will think of later but I think I'll leave it there for now. Maybe I'll do another post if I think of too many more things. Thank you for riding along this road with me. Writing here and hearing your encouraging words in person, in comments, and by email are also a big part of why I have progressed so far in the healing process. Thank you.