Monday, January 11, 2010
Our 2009 Holiday Letter
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place with no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all of those things, and still be calm in your heart.
I choose to think of it as another year wiser, or another year stronger rather than just another year older. Thankfully, this year, we are also another year calmer. More at peace, and more open to what life has enabled us to behold. Ours is a life that in many ways I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but it is also a life I cherish, and wouldn’t trade with the luckiest of families. Lot’s of people face illness, disability, financial woes, emotional hardships, lost dreams and difficult hours. We are learning to face our trouble with peace... and with a new perspective given to us by two very special little girls. One whose life will be harder than most, who has yet to find her sweet voice, and who fights illness and disability every day of her life with a smile on her face and a longing to hold hands and give hugs. The other whose voice adds a new beat to our melody, and whose spunky, feisty and fun personality brings us joy beyond measure.
It has been a year of mountains and valleys. A year of arduous realizations, and a year of awakening to new possibilities. We can say with confidence that Kaylin is healthy and neurotypical. She speaks in sentences and can relate to others beautifully. She can run and dance and laugh at jokes. It seems miraculous to us. We also understand now better than ever how mastocytosis and autism have impaired Avery’s brain development. But Avery will not be defined by her disability. And her presence can be felt in the hearts of many, as her story of grace and inspiration ricochet throughout our community. She is a constant source of rhapsody and joy, and has enabled many to see beyond language to find unconditional love through simple, pure human connection.
It has also been a year of gratitude. Our extended family and friends continue to astound us with their support and encouragement, and we are blessed to be able to be the parents we need to be to our children because of their benefit and guidance. Avery spends 25 hours a week in school and 15 extra hours a week in therapy... and it is because of the compassion of others that she has made progress at her own pace... and in ways we may never have been able to provide.
And finally, we are at peace. Though we may never “get over” some of the hardships we are blessed to endure, we can also see the beauty only found within the element of adversity... and we are better because of it.
We wish you all a magical holiday season and an abundant 2010. May you all find happiness within, and live in peace as you travel your journey.