As I sit and contemplate all that has happened this past year, I realize I’m extremely blessed. I always knew that God was in the little things but this year they have been what I have clung to as my world felt lifted up and left to free fall. I started out 2015 knowing another little one (Paul, born July 10, is such a joy to us) would join our family but terrified that I would miscarry again (Baby Gillespie left us in October 2014). Then cancer came in waves to both sides of my family. My grandmother (my mom’s mom) was given 6 months to a year after an extremely aggressive form of brain cancer was diagnosed. At the same time, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a week after all this news came, my Mammaw (my dad’s mom) came down with pneumonia and was not looking like she was going to bounce back. In my own body, depression and hormones were feeding the fear. I was slowly losing while depression was quickly winning the war in my mind, slowly eeking into my heart. As Mammaw lost the fight but joined our Savior in heaven in March, our family transitioned into our most challenging year of our lives. I almost dreaded talking to my family for fear of new bad news. Our baby continued to grow and develop inside me. Winter broke and turned to spring. I was struggling with depression even with the change in weather and had trouble finding happy moments, even with a bouncy toddler and a supportive and loving husband. We knew we would miss Caleb’s sister’s wedding and many family gatherings because of the baby’s timing. Grandma Jane’s condition was deteriorating but she said she had unfinished business, she had to meet her grandson. My mother-in-law was getting treatments and responding well to chemo.
We met summer with projects for home and yard, a few too many for both of our tastes but all were soon eclipsed on July 10th (eight days early) when Paul joined us. Caleb had biked to work so the call to come home at noon got us to the hospital at 3 pm and Paul was born at 5:07 pm. He was the turning point in our year. We knew he would be. Grandma Jane went into hospice but was able to hear Paul over the phone and see pictures of him from the hospital. Even though she had trouble finding words (a new normal since her diagnosis), she smiled and said, “Baby, baby, baby.” Less than a week later, she was in her eternal home. We finally got to see family as they came to meet Paul. Fall quickly passed and our children grew. Our family was cancer free when my mother-in-law finished up her surgeries and is recovering well. We visited family before Thanksgiving and now at Christmas.
I look back on this year and see God in all of it, calling to me, “cling to me, you are mine, I’m with you.” Just like he has my entire life, he kept me in palm of his hand. These aren’t clichés to me. These are truths that comfort me.
Now I’m seeing him point me back to work on my desire for a creative business, to make, because my creator created me to create. I miss my Grandma Jane and my Mammaw…more than words can express fully. I love my family and the support they give me, even if it’s accompanied by new wrinkles and some eye rolls. Thanks to anyone who has played a role in my year. I hope that 2016 is not as difficult but is full of growth in God’s plan.