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If 2011 had a word, it was change. If 2012 had a word, it was healing. If 2013 had a word, it was hope.
2014 does have a word, and it is patience.
The One Little Word project is not my idea, and it’s been around much longer than when I first discovered it late last year. At its core, it’s a journaling project, incorporating some scrapbooking and photography elements. The main thing is reflecting on your word and bringing it into your daily life. And this year, I want to be more conscious about being patient in all facets of my life.
This will, I think, be a year that will require patience, mostly with myself as I adjust to this new life of active motherhood, but also with Hannah and Geordie and with family far and near. And beyond just my relationships with people: I’m hoping for patience with my writing (including this blog!), with challenges in the kitchen, with expectations of the future. I want to be patient and not rush things – I want to enjoy Hannah’s babyhood and be present in her life. At the same time, I know I’ll be balancing my joy at finally having her here with us against the grief over Lauren that still remains and will always remain. I want to be patient with our future; whether we will be staying in San Antonio or pursuing adventures elsewhere, I want to relax and enjoy the small things as well as the big things.
I want to welcome patience into my life, along with its companion words: calmness, peace, compassion, kindness, composure, and poise. This is what I want for 2014: to take things as they come, to greet them without fighting them, and to treat people with the grace and gentility that I would hope for in return.
To be as calm and serene on the inside as I try to be on the outside.
Well, as settled as Geordie and I can be. It’s where we are for now and where we’ll stay for now, and that’s good enough for me. We have a place of our own, and we have a future ahead of us. That’s all I wanted.
And so, we’ve come to San Antonio, Texas, easily the largest city I’ve lived in. It’s not so big when compared to Tokyo, but I never actually lived in Tokyo, so there you go. We don’t live anywhere near the center of San Antonio, and that’s fine by me. The outskirts feel rather like a small town on their own, with all the convenience of a big city and not as much of the hassle. Traffic isn’t terrible, especially for Geordie since we live so close to where he works, and I don’t have to drive hither and yon to get whatever I might need. In this area, the roads are laid out pretty well, so that helps.
Not that I go anywhere very often. We only have the one car still, so we share that as necessary. I go mostly to the grocery store and Barnes & Noble, so I don’t miss the car so much on the days Geordie has it. It’s kind of nice driving him to and from work though. Having that little bit of extra time with him. For the past year, with neither of us working, I’ve gotten used to having him around all the time. Now, as I go through the day without him, I find that I miss him.
But there’s only one thing that’s truly missing from our life here in San Antonio: our daughter. She’s with us always in our hearts and in our minds, but I want – I still want – so much for her to be here with us, to complete our little family. Sitting down for dinner at our kitchen table, I’m always struck by how there’s just enough space for Lauren. I imagine her high chair there, and I imagine her, my dark-haired laughing child, eating with us, simply being with us.
Her birthday is next week. It seems impossible that nearly a year has passed since she left us. How did I make it through this year? How have I survived?
Well, those are easy questions to answer. I would never have made it this far without the love and support of my friends and family. Doesn’t matter how corny that sounds, it’s true. Because of their love for me – and for Lauren – I can deal with the present and hope for the future.
It’ll probably be next year before we begin to try again. I never imagined we would have to wait so long to try, but it’s better this way, for now. We still have to get our insurance straightened out, and then I want to find a good OB/GYN, someone I can feel comfortable with and trust with the next pregnancy. Plus, I’m still carrying about twenty pounds I’d like to get rid of. We could probably be ready by January, but that’s when Lauren was conceived, and I don’t want that. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a pregnancy that has the same time track as Lauren’s. So, we’re aiming to really start trying in early March. That’s still half a year away, so we’ll see how things go. But for now, that’s the plan. And it’s good to know that there will be a time to think about rainbows.
For now, we’re still settling in. We haven’t quite got everything sorted yet. We’re renting a nice little three-bedroom house, which is the most space we’ve ever had together. All the stuff we brought with us from Florida was barely enough to even half-fill a house: two desks and chairs, a double bed, and a rocking chair. And boxes upon boxes of books! Last weekend, we finally went up to IKEA and got a few things that would fit in the car: a dining table and two chairs, two nightstands, two bookcases, and a comfy chair to read in. There’s still plenty we need (a Queen bed, a couch, and at least one more bookcase come to mind!), but we’ll make due for now. It’s our home, and I’m happy with it, because it’s been far too long since we had anything that we could just call “ours.” It’s not perfect, but it’s ours, and I love that we have that.
I love that we have this life together, even with the downs. I love it because it gave us something as wonderful as Lauren, and there is all this hope and promise that we’ll have something wonderful again. Isn’t that what everyone needs?