With the end of today comes the end of a long, very defining chapter in my life.
It started with trauma, weeks after I had buried my father and he wouldn't be alone. His mother and brother followed him, as did my mom's mom. I've met new people, made new friends, seen new places, created a life for myself that is all my own. Three children have come out of my body. Three beautiful, perfectly formed little babies. My heart has broken and mended itself again and again. I have learned. I have grown. Fears have been conquered. Dreams have come true and dreams have been shattered, laid to rest forever.
The sun sets tonight and I say 'Goodbye' to my twenties. Ten years of life doesn't seem like so much, until you really think about all that has happened in that time. Ten years can be forever. Ten years can be a lifetime.
Ten years ago, I was a wholly different person. No kids. No responsibilities. I had no idea the road I was heading down. I couldn't see what the future held; none of us really can, I don't think. I was lost in a fog of grief, struggling to find something, anything, to hold on to, to cling to, to give me a reason to want to live.
Then I had Him. The wound my father's death gave me wasn't healed but the day Phoenix was born, I found life again. This tiny, wriggling little being had grown inside me, been made by me but I knew he was a gift. I made a promise to always be the best I could be for him, to do the best by him I could and to always be there for him, no matter what.
I took on new responsibilities, got a real job, for a little while; I grew confident and learn to love myself. I made choices and I made mistakes. I gave up on working to stay at home and made another one of those three beautiful boys. I uprooted our growing family and said goodbye to the city that had raised me, said goodbye to 26 years of memories and the friends I'd made. I grew even more and discovered you never stop learning about yourself when you are honest with yourself.
I made a home in a new city, in a new state. I became more comfortable with myself, admitted I had faults (and still do) and looked for solutions to my problems. I was finally able to get Phoenix the help he desperately needed and as a reward, I've watched him flourish & blossom. Paxton has grown into a wonder-filled, curious little boy and I am cherishing every second of #3's babyhood. Korben is seven months old and even more energetic than Paxton was at this age; he fits into the family as if he was always here & you know, I'm inclined to think he may have been.
I know there is a lot more to come but I'm sad to see this part of my life end, sort of anyways. The next ten years will hold some of the same: growth, love and learning; there will be more heartache and stresses to overcome. I will see these boys grow into young men and I'm sure I will "earn" many more gray hairs.
As I close this chapter, I know I've already started the next & this one won't really end with the setting sun. It just continues, just as life continues.
I will keep being me, just an older, wiser me.