I generally do not set New Years Resolutions. I think that we always have an opportunity to be better so the idea of planning to be better once a year makes very little sense to me. For 2011, however, I am going to actually set some resolutions – realistic of course. I have no plans to announce to that I am going to lose weight, get more education, or run off to a mission in Africa. While I would like to do all these things, they are not for announcement or for being realistic. I would do these things without a resolution.
2010 is a Memory
When 2010 started, I was in a different place in my life, 2009 was a year of emotional growth for me and I changed because RA and FMS forced me to. In 2009, I learned that I had to be honest and realistic with myself before I could be honest and realistic with anyone else in my life. In addition, I learned that life was too short and not everything was about me. In 2010, my goal to focus on my health and my relationships and I did that. I chose to be optimistic and I choose to be better person. In 2010, also started to do advocacy work and that changed me in more ways than I thought it would. Moreover, I got my family’s financial situation under control and focused on getting my marriage back on track. 2010 made me a better person and I am grateful for lessons that I received throughout the past year.
How Things Quickly Change
As 2010 neared to an end and holidays approached, our lives quickly changed. My brother’s cancer diagnosis came so fast that we didn’t have time to blink. Less than two months later, he was gone and all of sudden, our lives were empty. The last two months of my life are like a blur and while I documented my feelings and my experiences in my blog, what has happened hasn’t really registered. I know that in time I will be able to open up and really remember but right now, I am still grieving and I am just trying to get through the sadness and the pain.
Sometimes, I watch my mother and I want to know what she is feeling. I know she is hurting because the loss of a child is worst thing imaginable for a parent. I want to reach out to her and help her grieve but I know she is grieving differently and in her own way, and she will talk when she is ready. There is so much that we all have bottled up and in time, we will be able to open up. Right now, my siblings and I have decided that the best thing we can do for Mom is to be there for her even if it is just a physical presence.
My brother was someone who was kind and considerate. He put so many people’s needs ahead of his own including Mom and our younger brother, Kam who is now 19. He was content with what life handed him and never dwelled on the circumstances. The day before his surgery, he took Kam aside and told him that the only thing he wants from him is for him to live an honest life just like he had. Even when he told he was terminal, he never once said that he didn’t want to die; he said that he accepted it and his only concern was Mom and Kam. He wanted us to make sure that they were a priority in our lives and that they will be just as he asked us to do. My brother lived his life with dignity and humility and because of that, he was loved by so many. He also touched so many lives in his 31 years on this Earth and there are so many people whose lives are better because he was alive. He was an example of what many of us should strive to be and his death has taught me that I can still strive to be better.
My Relationship With God
I grew up with God and religion as a part of my childhood. My parents were religious and they taught us about God and our faith from the moment we were able to understand what they were saying. God was a part of everything we did; we thanked God at every meal, we were taught now to pray, and we were taught to acknowledge God with everything we did. We were encouraged to seek God’s guidance when we found ourselves confused or struggling with something. Despite that, I never really had a relationship with God. I believed in God but I never really understood what kind of relationship I should have. After my diagnoses with RA and FMS, I found so much power in prayer and seeking God’s guidance. Even if I couldn’t find solutions, talking to God gave me a sense of security and it also eased the burden that I felt.
What I have learned in the past couple months is how strong God’s power is and what kind of relationship I should strive to have with God. God wants the best for us but he also wants us to reach for the best. He planted greatness in us and he wants us to fulfill that greatness. God tells us that everything is possible if we believe in him but he wants us to take action. God doesn’t want us to look at job and financial success as important but rather to find goodness in ourselves. These days, we are so busy with our lives and commitments that become distracted but God never gives up on us – we cannot say that about people or materialistic things. God wants us to worship him in truth and in spirit and nothing makes him happier than his children trying to be closer to him.
I have gotten closer to God in 2010 and everyday I get closer to him. Having a relationship in the past didn’t seem possible but I learned so many things in the past year and God has been there with throughout it all. What I know about God is four things: (1) Gods loves us all and he has wonderful plans for us. (2) All of us sin and our sins separate us from God. That is a choice we make and not one that God wants for us. He wants us to seek his forgiveness and learn the error of our ways. (3) God allows us to repent and seek forgiveness and no one else offers us that. In addition, seeking his guidance keeps us from erring in the future. (4) We must accept God all on our own. It is not something that anyone else can offer us. It is a choice we make when we are ready.
God knows how long it has taken me to come to this crossroad but he also knows that I have learned so much through the tests he has handed me in the last couple years. It is my time to embrace God and I am happy that I have God as a friend because his love is better than anything I could ask for.
In 2011, I am going to celebrate life
The hardest thing I did this year was say goodbye to my brother and it is probably the hardest thing I will have to do for a long time. A family friend at the funeral told me that instead of mourning his death, we should celebrate his life. For 2011, I want to celebrate life. That means I have to stop trying to be the best at everything because competition is overrated. I want to celebrate my life and the lives of those I love. I want to be an all around better person and allow others to be better.
I plan on appreciating those I love so much more because I understand how short life is. I want to be a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I am also going to live life as I see fit and that means laughing more and crying less. I am going to try to stop being so tough all time and let the tears fall if they may. I have learned there is so much more to me than what I try to show to others because the real me isn’t just this strong and capable person, the real me is human. She laughs and she cries. She gets angry and she gets scared. She falls apart when no one is watching and acts strong when everyone else is falling apart.
For 2011, I ask that each of you look at what matters most and love the people in your life that treat you right; forget about the ones that don’t. Make wise choices, don’t have regrets and don’t take life and the people you love for granted. Life isn’t easy but it does not mean we can’t express love and enjoy life because we never know when it ends or when someone we love can be taken from us.
As I closed last year, “Happy New Year to all of my friends, family, and all of you that read my blog. God Bless each of you and your loved ones and may the New Year give us so much more to celebrate.”