As we sit here tonight, I keep thinking about all that 2011 meant. All it brought to us. All it took away.
2011 was the year that changed everything.
It started with a diagnosis and finally answers to years of pain. We watched our nephews turn one. We learned we would welcome a child to our own home. It brought one of the best summers of my life.
It also took a lot away. I said goodbye to a woman I have known my entire life. A woman who loved me and who loved my Mom like no other. I still have moments where I forget she is gone.
It was the year of Aidan. The year in which he existed. The year I became a mom. The year that taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. The year that taught me the truth of a broken heart.
There were other relationships forged and relationships severed in this roller coaster year. With Aidan's birth and subsequent passing, a shift occurred.
The first shift included people who stood by us. The people who have stepped up to the plate and have done the hard stuff. The things you never want to do with someone you love, but because you love them, you do it. These people are the ones who talk about Aidan, who share what Aidan has done in their lives. Some of these people are family and others are people who quickly became family. These are the people who don't expect it to just be ok or for us to get over it. The people who acknowledge we lost a child and have decided to love us through.
The second shift happened when this new community of people walked in. Our fellow families of this cruel twist of fate. Our babyloss family. The group you never want to belong to, but once thrust into this world you are beyond thankful to have them. They are the hope we can survive. The light in the darkness. The ones who allow us to be real and in the moment.
The third shift was one I didn't see coming. I wasn't prepared. It's the people who for whatever reason walked away. Whether it was a lack of words, fear or just an easy out they slowly started backing away and then turned completely around and walked away. It's this group I try to not focus on. Because it was unbearably hard to know I was going to have to live without Aidan. It's just too much to think someone I loved was leaving willingly.
So, you see. 2011 was a lot of things. It's 365 days, encompassed a lot. It changed my life. It changed my faith (one of the blessings of this year). Because it is the year of Aidan, it changed the world.
Our precious, perfect and tiny child. All 14.6 ounces and 10 5/8 inches of him, changed the world. Without ever taking a breath.
And it is because of him. That I will forever cherish this year. It wasn't what I imagined. It was hard. It was trying. It was a beautiful mess.
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