Since I began writing about my struggles and my observations born out of this experience, I have wanted to take a moment to properly thank the angels in my life who have supported me through it all - those people who held me up when all I wanted to do was collapse, curl up in a ball and shut out the entire world. But it is truly harder than I ever imagined putting into words the gratitude I feel in my heart.
We have been relatively open with our close friends and family from the beginning of our journey. And so the support has mirrored each progressive step and setback. At first I didn't think much of it - friends and family are naturally going to take an interest in such a life event, right? But the more I think about it, the more I realize and appreciate what a miraculous and uncommon thing it is for a cousin to check in, unsolicited, because of genuine interest in the latest update; or to be able to turn to a co-worker for a shoulder to cry on (after having already covered for you for weeks of acupuncture and ultrasound appointments); or to have parents who will drop everything just so you won't have to be alone after receiving the worst news of your life.
I believe it is human nature to take for granted the so-called "support system" when one really hasn't had it all too hard in life. I did. But I also KNOW that I would have crumbled, melted, fallen irreparably apart these past couple months without the insulation these people created for me. I've said it before, and perhaps it's getting old, but this has been the darkest, most incomprehensible time of my life. But it has also been one of the most valuable - I have learned so much about myself (Body, Mind, Soul) and my husband and this incredible gift called marriage, but also about how remarkably good people are. I look back through Facebook and text messages, and I'm brought to tears by the words and in-between sentiments words can't quite handle. I realize I have been lucky even in my un-luck.
To my amazing friends - thank you for taking a genuine interest in my personal life - for not asking how things are going simply because it's what you're "supposed" to do. Thank you for letting me vent, for letting me go into those "TMI" details, for understanding my need to find space for the magnitude of my grief even when I could not.
To my co-workers - see above paragraph - and thank you for being my back-up, for your flexibility in allowing me the flexibility to do what I've needed to do for myself at each step. Thank you for assuring me it's OK if I need to leave early for one of my seemingly endless appointments and that I shouldn't feel guilty for the mental health day to refocus following my personal tragedy. Thank you for reminding me that this support continues into the next chapter, wherever that may take us.
To my family - thank you for your tact; thank you for reaching out; thank you for your encouragement and love.
To my parents - thank you for knowing how and when I needed you (as you ever have), for reminding me of the kind of parent I am striving to become, for reminding me that I am still your child no matter how adult my problems may be and that I will always need my mom and dad.
To my husband - I could go on and on about having a partner who shares this burden, these frustrations, this mix of grief and hope - but some things are even too sacred for a blog. You know my heart, and that is just between us.
It is not enough - words and promises can never be for what you all have given - but you have my love and my assurance to be the co-worker, distant relative, friend, daughter, sister or wife you all deserve. And you have my promise that when our sorrow turns to joy, you will be the first people to share that with us too.