Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflection turned love fest.

So it seems to be that time again. That time to look back and reflect on the year that’s passed in what seems like the blink of an eye.

For me, the past year brought quite a few things – some good, some not so good. Sticking to my positive nature, I always try to see the silver lining in situations that could easily be all negative. I say try because this is really difficult sometimes!

For one, the big thing in 2011 was finding out that my brother was sick. Obviously, this is one of those situations that could be solely negative. No one ever wants to hear that someone they love is in ill health. In fact, it’s nearly number one on the list of things you never want to hear.

Things are now looking up, but I can look back and honestly say that going through everything only made my family stronger. We came together and offered each other support, love, and a shoulder when needed.

Although Tristan was the one who was directly affected, we tried to face this as a team. So much so that Tristan actually had to tell us to back off a little and let him speak at doctor’s appointments. Yeah, 5 outspoken people crammed into a little doctor’s office can be somewhat chaotic. Try 5 outspoken people crammed into post-op – that’s even better. Smile

The learning experience? Family is and always will be number one. I know now more than ever that I would be willing to drop everything to be there for a member of my family. And when I say family – I don’t only mean family by blood. Family to me are those whom I love, those who make my life fulfilled, those who I’m there for and who are there for me in return.

It may seem weird, but this whole situation changed me. It really made me reevaluate my life such that I now realize that many complaints and problems are trivial. It’s much easier for me to weed out the unimportant in favor of the important.

It also made me realize how important it is to have face-to-face interaction. This may seem obvious, but in a society where technology allows us to easily have detached relationships, this is definitely a struggle. It’s easier to simply send an email or a text, but then you’re missing out on the benefits of face-to-face interaction. You really can’t beat good old-fashioned communication.

Tristan is still facing the possibility of another, larger, surgery in the future. But I know with everything that I am that things will turn out well in the end.

So let me just take this reflection of 2011 to tell my family members how much I care. Because I really don’t think that you can ever give too much love.

Mom and Dad. You guys have always been my biggest supporters. You’ve always given me room to grow and make my own decisions – but I know you’re always only a few steps away to catch me if I fall. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your constant love and support and I thank you for that. I love you guys!

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Sam. You have been a constant in my life since I was 14. Through our ups and downs, you’ve always been and will continue to be my best friend. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your hard work and dedication that allows me to continue pursuing my education and ultimately my dreams. I love you.

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Adam. 9 years ago you came into my life and threw me for a loop. I had no idea I could love someone as much I loved you. You gave me the motivation and will to succeed that has brought me to where I am today. Not a day goes by that you don’t make me proud to call you my son. Even thought you’re almost taller than me these days, you’ll always be my little love bug. <3

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Tristan, Tiffany, and Courtney. You three are the reasons that I want to give Adam siblings. Growing up, we fought, beat each other up, and played the drowning game one too many times (sorry, Tristan Winking smile). But we also kept each other company, made each other laugh, and gave each other unconditional love. I couldn’t imagine my childhood any other way. I am so fortunate that you guys are such a huge part of my life.

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Tracy. You are my oldest friend and I consider you, Jeremy, and your girls family. I can tell you anything and I always know you’ll be honest with me. I am so proud of everything you’ve accomplished (yes, I’m your Mom) and I know you’ll only continue to succeed. Love you!

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Camille. Was there ever a time when you weren’t in our family? I’m sure you thought we were all pretty crazy when you met us, but to be honest I think you fit right in. Does that mean I’m calling you crazy? Maybe. Winking smile I can’t wait until the day I can call you my sister-in-law!

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Okay, so when I sat down to write this post I fully intended on talking about going to Paris, earning my bachelor’s degree, applying to graduate school, running my first race, etc.. But as I wrote, I realized that it just felt right to do an end-of-the year shout out to everyone who has helped make 2011 a great year.

So I love you all and here's to an absolutely fantastic 2012!

Have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve guys!

<3 Stefanie

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