I burst into tears as I thought of all the things that have happened since my blog entry on my birthday a year ago. So much has changed, so much has happened and I am grateful.
This is my first birthday without mom and I wish she were here. I miss her so much. She would have insisted on going to our favorite Japanese restaurant. She would have made me order a cake. She would have hugged tight and kissed me and I truly wish I could have that right now. But it’s okay. She has hugged and kissed me countless times and I have lots of great memories and that is enough. We have shared many meals and she’s bought me all the cakes she could possibly buy and that is enough. Even if she isn’t with us now, I am still grateful. I know she is no longer in pain. I know she is no longer consumed by sadness. I know she is finally living her best life ever in Heaven and for that, I am so grateful. In a blog post I wrote about her death I said my brain has accepted what has happened but my heart hasn’t caught up yet…but someday it will. Today I am grateful because my heart has finally caught up and it is at peace. Mom is in a better place and I am grateful for that.
I am grateful to be married to Rommel. Lately, I haven’t really taken much time to give him credit, but I should. I am married to a man who is kind and understanding. He doesn’t question if there are days when I just want to lay in bed all day and rest. He doesn’t complain about the state of our home, but praises and appreciates me when the house is nice and tidy (which hasn’t really been often, lately). He does what he can and for that, I appreciate him too. He is funny and does all these silly things to make us laugh after a tough day at work. This past year must have been tough for him because, for the first time since we got together almost 10 years ago, this is the first time I’m working this much. But…he has allowed me to fly and whenever I feel like plopping down, he has always been there to catch me. Then he’d step back and give me the space to run and take off again. For that, I am grateful. Rommel isn’t perfect. Our relationship isn’t perfect. I am grateful for that because we have room to grow and be better, as humans and as partners. I am with the man I’d want to grow old and reminisce with. For that, I am grateful.
My kids, oh my kids. I wouldn’t be who I am now if it weren’t for our little earthlings. They humble me and teach me so much about life every single day. They bring out the worst and best in me and for that, I am grateful. They make me want to be a better person. I no longer homeschool them fulltime, and there are times when I wish I could turn back the time and homeschool them again. But…when I take a step back and see where they are now, I am grateful for the learning environment they are in. I am grateful for the people who mentor them and invest in their lives. I am grateful for the friends and experiences they have been given. We had many years of daily, solid family time learning together, but now, it is a season for all of us to fly with others — and for that, I am truly grateful.
My days (and nights) have been busy the past year because of Abot Tala but I am absolutely grateful for this dream come true. Last year on my 37th, we had no center, no students, we didn’t really have much, except a huge dream. This was what I wrote about Abot Tala:
One year later and all that I’ve written has come true. We have a beautiful center, we have worked with over 20 teens in a span of 4 and a half months. We have laughed, cried, argued and more. We have shared many meals, dreams, and conversations. What we’re doing isn’t easy and we’re all figuring things out as we go along. It’s a beautiful learning journey for everyone. I know everything we do is absolutely worth it especially when we see the glimmer in our teens’ eyes, even if it’s for just a second or two. For that, I am grateful.
To the teens who have allowed me to be part of their lives somehow, thank you for the trust. Thank you for letting me in. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey. You are definitely part of mine. For all of you, I am grateful.
To my family, friends and life mentors who keep me in check and invest not just in my life but my family’s life, I will forever be grateful for everything you’ve done and continue to do for us. Trust that I am paying it forward. I will continue to do so for as long as I can.
I am grateful to my Lord, Jesus Christ. Because of Him, this life is possible. It’s been a crazy, very movie-plot-like life. I am grateful and will forever be.
Whew. Well, cheers to another year everyone! Hooray for simple joys! Life is beautiful. God is good. Two years `til I’m 40! Happy Birthday to me!