Friday, January 31, 2014

dear 2013,

in some ways i never want to talk to you or about you again - but you and i both know i'll be talking about you for the rest of my life. you're kinda sneaky that way, aren't you 2013?

i don't think i can begin nor end this letter without talking about Max. because you were the year of Max. you were the year he was born and you were the year that he died. you were the year that let me have him has my 100%-of-the-time-constant-buddy - as we went to countless dr appointments, ultrasounds, heart echoes, monitorings, random treatments and blood panels, and analyses by numerous neonatologists and perinatologists - and also as we did the normal stuff of life of going to take the girls to preschool, ballet, the library, cooking dinners, watching sunrises and sunsets, and eating way too much delicious food, making my mantra of "fat n happy in 2013" shine wayyyy too bright. you taught me more medical jargon than i ever cared to know about babies in utero, out of utero, and in between. and he was there, comforting me through it all. i think a lot about those early months - when it was just him and me all the time. and how i wasn't freaking out even though there was plenty to freak out about... and i think it was because he was there calming and comforting me all the time. it's like i could hear his voice talking to me saying, 'it's gonna be alright mama. don't waste energy worrying. this is all gonna happen how it's supposed to.' i miss feeling him that way. i miss it a lot.

and then the days melted away, and it was time for him to come. and you know, 2013, i'll always love you for those days we got to see this miracle baby live. because you were the year that saw a miraculous birth survive against incredible odds. and in spite of his numerous imperfections, he was perfect. and i'll always love you for those days i got to spend with a perfect person. it has changed me and the course of my life forever. it has changed my family forever. it has given us so much meaning and purpose. those days were exhausting days. but i never wanted them to end. i would have never been ready for them to end. but i know i'm blessed that they even began, and so i thank you for that.

but then they did end. and that was sad. it is still sad. we've never really gotten used to him not being here with us. sometimes i've been mad at you, because i feel like i just need to be mad at somebody. but i know that if you could have let him stay longer, you would have. and then i'm not mad at you anymore.

 and i guess i know that if it didn't have that experience of saying hello and then saying goodbye, i'd be a much different human than i am now. and i wouldn't know the things i know now. because you were there when i really came to know certain spiritual things that i didn't know before. you were there when i understood how invaluable the blessings are of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He truly does fill in the gaps to make wrongs right. He truly does compensate for all losses. He truly does understand our grief, as well as our joy. and He truly is the one and only person who makes it possible for us to get to be together with our loved ones again someday. you were the year that helped me understand the Atonement in a new way - a way that really does change the way i want to live my life. a way that makes me yearn to be worthy to be not only with Him, our perfect Savior - but Max, my perfect son.

ok. let's talk about some other stuff now that i got all heavy with the spices. sorry, i do that sometimes these days. but you made me this way, so i shouldn't really be apologizing to you. 

you were a year of big changes for my girls! Ellie turned 5! she lost all that toddler chub and really started leaning out into a pretty adorable little kid. you gave her tons of new freckles, and lots of inches onto her adorably curly hair. she ended Preschool with Mrs. Perona and absolutely LOVED it. i don't think i've ever heard her talk about another human being as much as she did Mrs. Perona- and with such adoration. she learned that she loves loves loves to swim, almost more than anything else- and she became pretty awesome at it by the end of the summer! and you saw her begin new things like learning the violin, and even starting kindergarten! she was sure nervous about school - but sure loves the heck out of it now, and is so good at it. it's been so fun to see her so happy.

 {last day of preschool}


Alice turned 3! she found her love for singing (she's never stopped!), her affinity + talent for giving check-ups, and her silly-feisty personality that constantly makes us laugh. she worked hard to keep up with her big sister - and began many of her own activities - turning her into a big kid instead of the baby that she once was. she began taking ballet lessons - which she absolutely loved! she also began swimming lessons - and really learned to swim! it was so fun seeing her teeny body wiggle across that pool. the fall brought her into joy school with the cutest lil group of friends. and she started gymnastics too! she is such a flexible little thing and keeps impressing me at it. she loves having her own things to do, and i love seeing her discover things that she loves.

and ... surprise! you gave us the gift to not only begin our journey with you in pregnancy...but end it in pregnancy too! we found out i was expecting another baby. emotions were mixed. only 4 1/2 months previous had we lost Max. i thought i'd feel whole again to be pregnant, but i found myself missing Max so much more - and becoming increasingly anxious with the uncertainty of this current pregnancy. i was monitored very closely in the beginning - and had many ultrasounds - which gave me so much peace of mind... until you gave me the gift of knowing with certainty that our baby BOY was 100% healthy and developing strong. you showed me how to appreciate more fully the miracle of creating life - what a gift it truly is.

M and i celebrated 8 years of marriage! -  somehow it feels longer - like i can't remember life without him now. i like that a lot...there's just no one i'd rather have to hug through the good and bad than M. and this year totally brought us some good - our first getaway without HAWAII nonetheless! we had the most amazing time - i know we'll talk about Kauai for the rest of our lives. 2013, you helped me be certain in my love-  i love this kind-hearted man more than i can say.

you also gave us lots of happy as a family! we went to Utah and saw tons of friends and family - and Jeffy graduate from BYU! we took excursions along the Northern Coast - and we re-fell in love with the Bay Area. it's so gorgeous! we also took a Pismo trip with friends for M's 30th birthday - where we partied hard with friends (and took away some awesome stories to tell), we went to concerts and theme parks (Six Flags!), we traveled to So Cal - multiple times ... even for the girls to have their own Gammycation while we were in Kauai - and also for Thanksgiving...where we piggy-backed the most memorable surprise Disneyland Vacation. it was a fun year for travel - and we needed the fun - so thank you for those happy family memories.

{the gorgeous Northern Coast}

and the days in between and after were filled with remembering Max in all the ways we could and that we know how....and of course with more friends, family, and loved ones - making sure we were and are ok. inviting us to dinners, girl's nights, play dates, lunches and reaching out in countless ways. you taught me more about love than any other year, and i thank you for that. how to love, how to receive love, and how to recognize the power of love in your life.

and so 2013, you were a challenging year for my little family. and yet you were a strengthening year for my family. you were a nurturing year for my family. and you were a love-giving year to my family. sure, you gave us a lot of gloomy days, but you also gave us so many sunshiney ones, and so many glimpses into perfectly peaceful ones - the kinda ones we're all working towards having forever someday. and so i'm not really mad at you. because i'd do all the hard over again to know the good and the love that you helped me feel. love moves mountains, of this i am certain.

and while i'm so glad to say goodbye for now - know that i will look forward to talking about you in my forever to come - and watching your highlight reel in my life-movie in heaven someday.


past years' letters:
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007


Jana Weaver said...

What an amazing year for your family! I love that you do this every year. What a great way to reflect and remember.

Christy said...

Marci you are beautiful and have such a positive and inspiring outlook on life. I wish you and your growing family nothing but the best for 2014. Miss you friend!

Liz said...

You never cease to amaze me with your words and positive light. Can't wait to meet your little boy in 2014!

Adrienne said...

You have been so incredible. I love the way you write with such hope and inspiration. You show so much beauty in life through the good and bad. My life has changed by knowing you even though we've never met.

đỗ quỳnh said...

she's happy, she's girl so pretty, I wish she had been like.

Bethy L said...

Agreed! What a way with words. Want to write my blog?!?