I remember sitting by the lake last summer watching Mya splash in the water thinking that next summer I will be in the exact same spot holding Ellie in my arms. There were moments this year when, although I knew we’d get to that spot, it was hard to picture. I couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental today as I fed Ellie on the shores of the lake I spent my summers on watching Mya build castles out of sand. I talk a lot about how much Mya has grown this year, how much she has learned, but I sometimes think the person in this family who has grown the most is me. My plans have changed significantly since that moment last year on the beach. Ellie’s diagnosis, a stay in the NICU, hospital visits and heart surgery. But I have new friends, I have war wounds that have made me stronger, I know a new language that I am continuing to learn from every day. And I have a peace in my heart that comes with knowing you will get exactly what you want even if you never knew to ask for it. When there are moments in my future, which I am sure there will be, when I think this journey is too hard, I will remember that it is supposed to be, and that the hardest year of my life has also been the most meaningful, and that after it all I’m still exactly where I thought I would be this time last year. Sitting by the lake watching Mya in the water, with Travis at my side, and Ellie in my arms.
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