Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Review

Amazingly enough, this is a tradition that dates back 9 years! Welcome to the 2014 edition.

Sum Up Your Year In A Nutshell

2014: This was the best year of my life. It is hard to describe how much I have grown as a person, but I have never been this happy and this self-assured of who I am and why I am on this planet.  This was the year that I committed myself to falling in love with my life- this life, the life that I am living. And it was an overwhelming success. It was not always easy, but it was always for the best. 

The biggest highlights of the year are unquestionably watching my two grow into the most amazing people I have never known. I am so deeply blessed for the privilege of parenting them.

And I am so deeply grateful for Jason; I could image no greater partner on the journey. This year will mark our 10th anniversary as best friends, and I look forward to several decades more...

1) What did you do in 2014 that you have never done before?
Taken a good, hard look in the proverbial mirror and identified that I wanted more from myself than what I was giving myself; that I deserved more…

2) Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions and will you make more next year?

2013 answer: This year's answer: I think that, for the most part, I met the goals I outlined for myself last New Years. I have come a long way in terms of flexibility and rolling with life's punches.  My "word" for the 2014 is "ADAPTABILITY"- this has also become my life's mantra.  It's a life long journey, but I have the two best tour guides in the world ;)

2014: I believe that I did keep my resolutions, but I think that I sold short what I was capable of and I have achieved so much more than I set out for. While adaptability may have been my ‘word’, it was not the one that guided me. What guided me was the idea of ‘thriving’. I don’t want to survive anymore. I want to thrive, the same way that I want my family to thrive.  And I believe that I have achieved this goal.

Next year, I will continue this goal and will push myself even further. My word for 2015 is simple: “Excel”. I want to excel at what I choose to do, and let go of whatever I am not passionate enough to commit that kind of energy towards.

3) Did someone close to you give birth in 2014?

There were some new faces this year, but not many who were very close to me. There are some new faces coming in 2015 that I am super excited to meet though…

4) Did someone close to you die?

People who were close to people that I am close to died. And that breaks my heart.

5) What countries did you visit?

Another year of not leaving Canada. I’m ok with that. This was a year of sticking close to home and discovering the joys of our own backyard.

6) What did you lack in 2014 that you would like more of in 2015? 

2013 answer: Time. I never seem to have enough time.
2014: Balance. Sometimes I forget to manage my “spoons”… Also, sleep.

7) What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory? 
Several important dates: birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations are special every year. But on February 6th, 2014, our friends and family gathered in our home to celebrate our very first “Neurodiversity Celebration”.  This was the day that Sammie was officially identified as Autistic, and joined a community of Autistic people who are among the most beautiful, dedicated, fervently devoted to social justice people I have met. I am proud that my son is Autistic, and so grateful to have been welcomed by this community as a parent who is committed to embracing his neurodiversity.

8) What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
There were many. This was the year that I returned to the stage for the first time in over a decade. It was the year that Jason and I transformed our parenting, and truly dedicated ourselves to meeting both of our children’s individual and unique needs. It was the year that I decided to focus some much needed attention on my health and transformed my body and my life forever.

The list really could go on. This was a year that I was really proud of what I did and who I did it with. It was a year of monumental growth.

9) What was your biggest failure?
I made a lot of mistakes this year, but none that I would consider failures. I do believe that I stretched myself very thin, and that some of my friendships have suffered because of that. This is something that I intend to focus on in 2015.

10) Did you suffer injury or illness?
No. This is one of the first years that I have been able to say that I have been, for the most part, very healthy. Probably healthier than I have ever been in my adult life.

11) What was the best purchase you made? 
Our City of Edmonton attractions pass gave us access to activities that ignited deep passions in both of our kids and gave our family hundreds of hours of bonding, fun, laughter and memories. This was unquestionably the best purchase we made.

12) Whose behaviour merited the most celebration?
It is incredibly difficult to pinpoint just one or two or even a dozen people. I want to celebrate all the people in my life who are amazing and inspire me every day. But if the question is asking which people impacted me for the better in the most meaningful way, the answer to this is simple: the amazing group of Autistic self-advocates who have worked tirelessly to make a better world for my family. I owe them so much more than I could ever properly express in words, and am every day grateful for the patient lessons they have taught me.

13) Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? 
While 2014 was one of the best years of my life, it was not a great year for the world. I am ashamed at some of the atrocities being carried out by my fellow human beings. Bigotry, racism, ableism, discrimination, violence, hatred…there was so much ugly in the world this year. I wish there was more I could do to stop it.

14) Where did most of your money go?

We spent a lot of money on our family this year, and I do not regret that at all. From buying equipment for Sammie and toys that excite Charlie, to adventures out and about, we lived life to the fullest. We may be poorer this year than last, but we are richer in spirit.

15) What did you get really really excited about?
So much…man, where do I begin. I think I am most excited to see my children’s personalities emerging. They are wonderful, amazing, intelligent, creative and unique individuals who make my heart grow ten sizes bigger each day.

16) What song will always remind you of 2014?
“Let It Go”…Charlie’s FAVOURITE song. She has almost all the lyrics down pat. My little girl is a Disney princess, and I embrace that part of her (even if it pains me).

17) Compared to this time last year, are you?
Happier or hardened? Happier. I don't know if I've ever been this happy. But I have a heavy heart tonight, as my thoughts are with my friends and loved ones who are facing incredible challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

Thinner or fatter? Thinner. About 50 lbs thinner. And healthier than ever.

Richer or poorer? Richer- in more ways than one.

18) What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I had carved out more time for my loved ones. This is something that I plan on rectifying this year, now that I have a better sense of self-care under my belt.

19) What do you wish you'd less of?
Probably social media in general. It is a blessing and a curse, and an all-too-time consuming habit.

20) How did you spend Christmas?
Surrounded by my family and friends. It was a lovely holiday, with two children who were enthralled with the joys of the season.

21) Did you fall in love in 2014?
I fell in love with my life in 2014. More deeply than ever before.

22) Any one night stands? 
I have two night stands. They come in handy for holding my many empty tea cups that always seem to collect there.

23) What was your favourite program?
Anything that I watched with Jason. We spend amazing time watching silly shows and gossiping about them for hours.

24) Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate last year?
No persons, exactly. But attitudes of discrimination, bigotry, fear and anger…these things, I hate.

25) What was the best book you read?
Re-reading The Stand. That book has brought me immeasurable joy over the past 15 years.

26) What was your greatest musical discovery?
 Rediscovering my own love of music was a great gift for me. And sharing this love with friends, and a particularly wonderful mentor from my past who has become an advisor, a sympathetic ear and an inspiration to all I do.

27) What did you want, and get?
A full and rich year, filled with memories of family, friendship and love.

28) What did you want, and not get?
More sleep. Seriously. I really don’t sleep enough.

29) Favourite film of this year?
I rarely get to watch films these days, but I do always enjoy rediscovering old loves. I am spending my New Year’s Eve introducing Jason to “Anne of Green Gables” and it has been one of the most enjoyable evenings of the year J (Also, Charlie may be a modern day reincarnation of Anne…and that thought excites and terrifies me…)

30) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
We had an epic birthday party celebrating the four ‘decades’ that span my life. I dressed up as Courtney Love and Jason went as Kurt Cobain. It was awesome.

31) What is one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If the world was a kinder, more loving place. I had to spend a lot of energy fighting social battles that should never have to be fought. I don’t regret this time, and fully intend on continuing these efforts until the world has become the kind of place that I can be proud to raise my children in.

32) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Baggy. As I have continued on my fitness journey, it has been incredibly difficult to keep clothes in my closet that actually fits me.

33) What kept you sane? My husband. He is my grounding force. And my genuinely unbelievable friends and family members. I am beyond blessed for the love that surrounds me.

34) Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I’m not really big on celebrities in general. As far as public figures go, there are many Autistic self-advocates that have impacted me a great deal. I have been privileged to befriend many of them and build relationships beyond the scope of social advocacy. These (mostly) women have transformed my life.

35) What political issue stirred you the most? 
Autism Acceptance. Loving my child for who he is should not be considered a political issue, but unfortunately- in today’s social climate- it is.

36) Who do you miss?
My dad. I wish he could have met my children. We had a conflicted relationship when I was young, but wonder how that would have changed as we both aged. If he is there, out there somewhere, I hope he is proud of who I am and how I have chosen to live this life.

37) Who was the best new person you met? 
This one is tough. I met a lot of amazing people this year. But, I have been welcomed into the fold of a wonderful group of moms who are raising their own exceptional children. They have become very important to me, giving me comfort, friendship, support, laughter and love in the times I needed it most.

38) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
There are few things in life worth fighting for. It is important to learn the difference between the mountains worth dying on, and the molehills that are simply best avoided.

The outside world isn’t able to distinguish these for you. You need to search within yourself and discover who you are, as a person, and what values you are prepared to go into battle to protect.

I am learning to let go of battles that are not my own; to support the efforts of others who are fighting their own social justice wars, without appropriating them or feeling the need to sacrifice myself for every issue that stirs my heart.

But I have also learned to recognize that- yes- there are causes that I am prepared to live, breathe and die for. These issues are fundamental to who I am as a person and as a parent.

The safety, security, and human dignity of my children is not a battle I can walk away from. The deep seeded belief that all persons are worth of human rights and freedoms is a realization that I can no longer ignore.

I expect 2015 will be filled with more of this advocate/activist work. There is much work left to be done. But I heartened to know that I am making small differences in the lives of my children and my loved ones. That to me makes every battle worth while.

I will live, breathe, and die for the safety and happiness of my children and my family. I can think of no worthier cause.

39) Quote a song lyrics that sums up your year:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

Amazingly enough, this year’s song is the same as last year’s…In 2014, I had the wonderful gift of hearing Sam sing this song to us, his first song ever…and one year later, his sister sang it to us as well. Many beautiful nights were spent listening to her sing this song to her daddy as he rocked her to bed. These are some of the most precious memories I have of one year old Charlie, who is already outgrowing her ‘toddler language’ and now sings dozens of songs practically perfectly.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to hear this song without tearing up. I hope not…

Monday, November 10, 2014

My ongoing self-care journey

This isn't going to be a preachy blog post, despite what the title may indicate. I'm not here to dictate how any person should live their lives, or judge people for the choices they make for themselves and for their families.

However, I have been asked by several of my friends to tell my own story of how I found my way back to a place of self-care and health, having abandoned both for almost a decade.

I do not promise that any of this will resonate with you, nor do I expect any person to follow the same journey. But if you are looking for a place to start, perhaps you can find some guidance in my experience. Or perhaps you have some to offer me, as I continue on this journey.

I didn't want this to be long because the people I know who want to read this are too damn busy to read long posts. After all, this about self-care- which means finding time for yourself to focus on your own needs. (I doubt anyone has ever read my blog and thought to themselves "Man, I needed to read that.") But I had a lot to say on the topic, so it was designed to be read in chunks, or only the sections that are actually relevant to what interests you.

So, instead of a narrative, I'm just going to answer the questions that I have been asked, in point form. Each answer has three parts, because I like things in threes. They make be happy. (This is the OCD in me talking.)

What do you mean by self-care?

Self care is relatively simple: You need to take care of your own needs, in order to meet the needs of others. Think of it like putting on your own air mask in a plane before putting on the one for your child. If you pass out, neither one of you will be better off.

I define self-care by the following three areas:

a) Physical Health: Making sure that your body is getting what it needs to work at optimum capacity. Ie: being your strongest self.
b) Emotional/Mental Health: Make sure that your mind and heart get what they need to work at optimum capacity. Ie: being your most engaged self.
c) Spiritual Health: Making sure that your 'spirit', 'soul', or whatever it is that you call your sense of inner purpose, gets what it needs to feel self-actualized. Ie: being your most peaceful self. 

While some of the approaches might overlap (for example, sleep is deeply linked to all three), self-care in my mind is the concerted decision to approach each area with a sense of purpose and intentionality.

Why is self care so important?

At some point I realized three things about myself:

a) I would never take my children's health (again, including all three aspects of overall health) as nonchalantly (or as non-existantly, as the case had been for me) as I was taking my own health. I am aware that my actions are models from which my children will learn how to care for themselves and for others. It is deeply important to me to teach them to care for their own basic needs and respect their own bodies.
b) To properly care for my children, and to role model the kind of healthy lifestyle I want them to live, I needed to make some dramatic changes in every day living. This included what I ate, how I slept, how much exercise I got, how I spent my time (and with whom I spent it), how I treated others, and how I treated myself.
c) If I was outside and looking in, I would consider my 'self-care' was in a complete state of crisis, one that was edging towards critical mass and displaying itself through increased anxiety, depression, and self-loathing. Inevitably, this was going to impact my children's happiness (and my husband's) negatively.

I realized that my life desperately needed to regain balance, not only for myself, but for my entire family.

Something had to change.

What was the first thing you did?

This is the simplest answer, but was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I got real with myself. I confronted three lies that I had fooled myself into believing and that had begun to dictate my life.

These lies were:
a) I don't have the time/energy/will power/ability...(you name was all a lie.)
b) I am not worth the time and investment it would take to get healthy.
c) I have so far to go that it isn't worth starting.

Taking a hard look at these lies was the very first and unquestionably the most important part of my journey so far. Yes, I did have the time/energy/etc. I wasted an incredible amount of time, energy and valuable resources on completely benign things like social media. I wasted hours watching reality tv or other television shows that I didn't really care about. I did this because I was exhausted- but the exhaustion was being caused my lies.

I *am* worth the time and investment it is taking to get healthy. Not only am I worth it, I deserve it. I have the right to it.

As for going so far- well, that's a lie that I still fight on a daily basis. It is true. I have come a long way- and I have a long way to go. And sometimes that is really discouraging. But what I realized was that any step towards self-care, no matter how small, was a significant improvement on what I was living now.

Every small step is a step forward.

Ok, but how did you really start?

I consider my period of self-reflection to be a bit of a 'pre-game season'. In a concrete way, I started to make some serious changes in May 2014.

I decided to begin by working on my physical needs first since these are often the framework needed for building up other areas. So I:

a) Started tracking my daily movement (My pedometer is the single best investment I have ever made in my own health. I am a visual person and I needed the numbers to help keep me motivated and to validate me.)
b) Committed myself to three small, concrete and measurable goals (at the very beginning these were: 1) To walk/move 10,000 steps a day, 2) To eat at least three times a day, following a very simple meal plan (very very simple) 3) To drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.)
c) Found a support network. I joined an online fitness/motivation group, and then created two of my own. I now admin three separate groups and am actually starting to do personalized self-help coaching.

How did you find time? 

This might be the most commonly asked question I get, particularly because I know for being an incredibly busy person. I also think the 'time' lie is the one that I find most people universally resonate with.

Here is how I found the time:
a) By deciding that my health was as important as anyone else's in my family.
b) By prioritizing my health over other activities that sucked away at my energy and happiness.
c) By understanding the relationship between exercise, sleep, rest and mental health. (Tip: Exercise is a basic foundation for all the rest. Your body is meant to move, and if it doesn't move enough, it will have a harder time doing the other things it needs to do, like sleep and feel happy.)
As you'll note, at the very beginning of my journey, none of these things required any additional time away from home, nor did they really require anything significant in terms of effort. All it required was for me to move more and to make tiny changes in my life to feed/nourish my body. The idea that health=time was another one of the lies I had been telling myself.

For the most part, the time issue didn't become a factor until I had progressed to much larger goals, about three months in. At that point, I had to start prioritizing and a lot of things that were less important to me (ie: this blog, social media in general and even some relationships that were not bringing me closer to a happy place) had to take a massive step back so that I could focus on myself.

Now, I do about an hour and half of exercise, five to six times a week. I have found ways of fitting this in by breaking it into smaller sections (3X 30 minute work outs) and using programs that I can do from home but that are giving me the results that I am seeking. (I swear by Beachbody programs, but there are tons out there for a variety of needs. Personally, I use the 21 Day Fit regime and Focus T25 for my home base training. They are challenging, interesting, and effective. I have found several others that I do also like, so if you want some recommendations, let me know.)

But yes, sometimes I do my work outs late at night or have to wake up early for them. And I have been known to walk on my treadmill while wearing my daughter in a wrap. I've even been known to break into a dance party when it is quiet at work. Personally, I have found that I sleep better if I get my work out in and so the trade off of sleep for exercise is worth it some days. Other days, I choose sleep.

The time is there. The chances are that it is being filled by things that are way less important than taking care of your body, mind and soul. Redirect your energy, and you will surprise yourself.

How did it impact your life?

Absolutely everything about this has been tremendously positive.

a) I am healthier and feel like I have more energy.
b) I am motivated and looking forward to taking on new challenges (including working in a sleep goal, which is going to be the biggest challenge of all with two small kiddos who don't sleep).
c) I am proud of myself. Really proud. And that has done tremendous things for my self-confidence, my sense of self-worth, my self-esteem, and the quality of my personal relationships. 

What's next for you?

I've already mentioned a few goals that I am working on: completing my first triathlon, figuring out a way to balance all of this with sleep, spending more "quality" time with my husband and children...

But also, what's next for me is focusing on the next steps of my health:

a) Begin to really plan and make goals around my emotional/mental health and spiritual health. I am starting to recognize in myself a calling and sense of purpose. I want to use my brain more- in ways that stimulate, excite and create- and I want to be a part of something bigger than myself.
b) Continue to cleanse myself of activities, relationships and habits that are toxic to my well-being.
c) Finding a way to 'slow down' and giving myself permission to just be quiet, with myself, so that I can recharge my inner introvert. 

In many ways, I've only just begun my health transformation. My body is changed and my outlook is changed. But I have an awful lot left to do to bring myself to a place of self-actualization. And thankfully, I now have the energy to do it.

What would you recommend for someone who is wanting to take a more active approach in self-care?

a) Just start. Pick a goal, or a few small ones, and commit to them for three weeks. That can be as simple as drinking water, or as complex as hitting the gym 3 times a week (though I recommend starting with simple.)
b) Throw away the scale. No, I'm not joking. Get rid of it entirely, or at the very least put it away for at least the first month of your goals. This is not about pounds and inches. It's not about dress sizes. It's about a sense of general well-being. Your body will reward you- trust it to do its job. Don't focus on the 'what' you want to look like; focus on the 'who' you want to be and 'how' you want to get there. Your body will do the rest for you.
c) Remember that any small step forward is a step in the right direction. This is a process. There are no quick solutions to health. It requires a daily effort to self-care, and will be an ongoing journey for the rest of my life. The difference between me now and me a year ago is that I am learning to enjoy the journey. I have come to relish self-improvement. I want to be a better person every single day of my life.

Most importantly, I want to feel like I have really lived every day of my life.

And that's how I feel right now.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Reflections Coming Out of A Meltdown

Dearest Daughter,

At the time of writing this, you have been screaming/crying for almost the entirety of six hours since I have been home from work. Before that, you spent the prior four hours that I was away screaming/crying at your father. And the 24 hours before that were more of the same.

You have slept less than three hours in the past day, and your entire body and mind have been pushed to their absolute limits.

You are enrapt in a complete physical breakdown, overwrought by your weakened immune system, and have worked yourself up into a frenzy of panic, exhaustion, discomfort, pain, and desperation.

My poor, darling child. I have never seen you this sick.

And yet, at this moment, you are not in my arms.

You are away, with your daughter, in a car…being driven around in the desperate hope that you will finally fall asleep.  You are strapped in a car seat, and are likely angry, hurt and confused as to why your Mama isn’t there with you.

I don’t blame you.

I would be angry with me too.

In fact, I am angry with me. And I am ashamed. And guilty. And very very sad.

And still, this is the right decision for you. And for me. And for our entire family.

Because in this moment, I am not able to be the mother that you deserve. The mother that you desperate need me to be.

In this moment, I too have been worked up into a frenzy of emotions. I am also overwhelmed. I am also in the midst of my own physical, emotional and mental breakdown.

You see, my brain works different from most people I know. It’s a lot like Sam’s. (It’s possible that it might be like your brain too, but I can’t tell that for sure since you are still so young.) It takes in sensory information more fully, and has a hard time processing it and making it all work together.

Colours are brighter. Smells are stronger. Things I touch feel more intense. Tastes can be completely overwhelming.

And sounds…

Well, sounds are the most powerful sense of all.

And sometimes, in completely unpredictable ways, these senses will all work together in such a way as to make the environment come alive in ways that other people could never comprehend.

Did you know that different colours can have different tastes?
Or that certain textures can have smells?

I do.

I also know what it is like to see music dance.

There are few things more hauntingly beautiful.

They tell me this is called Synesthesia and that it is a Sensory Processing Disorder.

I don’t really know anything about that. All I know is that this is how my brain has always worked, and that this difference sets me apart from many of my peers.  Sometimes, this difference is a gift. Sometimes, it is a disability. Sometimes, it is both at the same time.

For the most part, I am fortunate. The times in this life where I am genuinely disabled are few and far between. I have been blessed with a body and a mind that are able to navigate almost every social and environmental situation that I am subjected to. I have grown accustomed to needing an extra few minutes to adjust my eyes to the lights, my ears to hums, and my nose to the perfumes that can overwhelm me.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it all becomes too much. Sometimes, my senses become so engaged, so saturated with information that my brain simply can not keep up to the information and it completely overcomes me.

When this happens, I have a hard time making decisions. I have a hard time controlling my emotions. I have a hard time controlling my body. And I have a hard time keeping a grasp on what is happening around me.

Sometimes, I melt down. This happens in my mind, not in my heart. But that distinction is one that can be very hard to see from the outside looking in.

When I am melting down, I am not able to be a good parent to you. I am not able to be a good parent to Sam. I am not able to be a good wife to your daddy, or a good friend or a good daughter or a good sister.

When I am in meltdown, the only thing I can focus on is getting myself through it.

And that, my darling daughter, is why you are with your daddy right now.

Parenting is an intense experience. It is one that requires your full attention- physically, mentally and emotionally.

Parenting a child who is in a state of crisis- whether this be because of illness, injury, emotional need, or otherwise- is even more intense. It requires a state of parental engagement and alertness that exceeds the every day, as well as a resilience and fortitude to stay strong during the emotionally difficult moments.

Most of the time, I am able to be that parent to you. Most of the time, I am able to navigate that intensity, and live up to my responsibilities in caring for you.

But tonight- probably due to the fact that I am also sick, or the fact that it has now been three days of almost incessant screaming, or maybe just because the temperature is changing and my body feels the snow crystals starting to form in the sky above us- tonight, I just can’t.

Tonight, I felt my body start to shake. I felt my eyes start to blur. I could smell the anxiety in the room, and the entire room started to spin.

Tonight, I knew that my brain was about to get the better of me. I knew that I was minutes away from a meltdown.

And I knew that you deserved…that you needed…me to step away.  I knew that, even though you would not understand it in the moment, the safest and healthiest thing I could do for you would be to acknowledge my own needs and recognize my own limitations.

The best thing I could do tonight was hand you over to your loving daddy’s arms and walk away.

Sometimes, the greatest gift that we can give to another person is the self-awareness to know when we have exceeded our capacity to give. Sometimes, acknowledging weakness is the most courageous choice you can make.

Since I have started writing this, you and your daddy have come home. You are now in your room, and I can hear you breathing over your monitor. You are sleeping (for now, at least) and you are safe.  My heart is exploding with love for you, and I know that I won’t be able to resist creeping into your room later to kiss your cheeks and whisper that I love you.

And as I listen to your rhythmic patterns, I feel a sense of renewed resolve and commitment. Tonight hurt your feelings. Tonight hurt my feelings too.

But our sadness and hurt feelings will heal with the understanding that some decisions in life are painful, even when they are right. 

Tonight, as I pull myself back from the dark abyss that is my mind in meltdown, I know that I can say with an increased sense of confidence that #iamnotkellistapleton.

I choose humility and self-acceptance in the face of my disabilities.

In the face of my own mental health struggles, I choose self-awareness.

In the battle between my needs and yours, I made sure your needs were safely addressed before dealing with my own.

In the midst of a crisis, I remembered that I am the adult and that you are the child.

And that no matter what, my responsibility is to love you unconditionally and care for your needs above my own.

And, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how overwhelmed I feel, no matter how little more I think I can can take…never would I dream of hurting you.

Tonight, my first thought was of how to get you the best care I possibly could.

And I believe that I did that.

I love you unconditionally. And I am so sorry you are sick.