Today is the seventeenth anniversary of the day my husband, Brad, and I first began dating back in college. Though our main anniversary isn’t until June (lucky number 13 coming), today does have me looking back on the remarkable life we have built, endured, and enjoyed together.
And though I am very aware of this happy day, that is actually not the anniversary to which I am referring. So let’s get real here for a minute…
I, like many of you, have lost a great number of my family members during this time of year. Between September 1st and December 31st, I get to remember the death of all three of my parents (and some other beloved family and friends lost, to boot).
I lost my father at age eight on September 8th, 1991. My mother passed away on October 25th, 2016 (exactly four months before my twin boys were born). And I had another wonderful man enter into our lives, whom I called my dad, who died on December 24, 2013.
If I’m being honest – this is a really *#@!-y time of year. So, if I seem a little off my game during these four months every fall, allow me to put this in perspective:
I am an orphan. I became one just over three years ago. And I miss my family terribly. Every. Single. Day. It hurts like a [certain Halloween character]. And there are days when I have trouble breathing.
Why do I share this struggle with you?
Because I know I am not alone in this.
Though we are about to enter into the “most wonderful time of the year” very soon, many of us find the holidays a remarkable struggle. We just wish there was space to stop. To cry. To remember that everything is not always picture perfect.
So here is my message to all my friends out there who are struggling right now:
You are not alone. You are so very loved. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to talk about it. And if no one else wants to listen, feel free to reach out to me. Know that you are perfect just the way you are (even if that is a complete and udder mess).
Happy Holidays, everybody!