Reverb10 question for 5 December: What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
The single biggest thing I let go of this year (again) was my idea of how Kristina would be, who Kristina would be, how her life would turn out.
I say again because, as a parent, you constantly have to let go.
Again. And again.
She is her own person – always has been – and that is not what I am talking about. Any parent whose child has suffered serious illness or injury knows about this letting go.
Letting go of the idea that your child can do or be anything he sets his mind to. This is not always true. It does not always stay true. You still love your child. You still hold your child. Your child still loves you.
And sometimes, things happen that change how your child identifies herself, how she engages with her world, and whether she can still have/hold/live her dreams.
My daughter is still under a doctor’s care, still being treated for her injuries. Her recovery has been – and continues to be – more than physical. There are mental, emotional, and social components to her injury + recovery. She is learning new coping skills, ones I hope will serve her when she goes away to college.
People who see and meet her now would likely never identify her injuries. She was so high-functioning before that it was hard to measure the changes.
But the changes are there.
She is different. So am I. Life has changed us. We are altered by our experiences. She is still amazing. She is still brilliant, intellectual, witty, arch. She is also more compassionate, more patient, more humble.
At best, we let go of the right things at the right time, not grasping at the things beyond our control. At best, we appreciate what we have, and wonder at the ways we have been blessed.
I think the saying is, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
I’ve become very fond of candles.
On the Christmas calendar today: we find a giving tree, buy a present, and return it today. There may also be peppermint mochas involved.