In approximately 13 hours we will be saying goodbye to 2015 and welcoming in 2016. Truth be told, I am no sadder to see 2015 leave then I was for all the years before. Yes, it has been a year filled with the most shedding of tears, but it has also been a year filled with laughter, joy, and hope. It was the year our oldest daughter turned five, entered Kindergarten, and lost her first tooth. It was the year that my mother lived to celebrate her 60th birthday (which is a huge accomplishment for a woman in our family). It was the year my sister, her husband, and my adorable nephew moved only four houses down from us. It was the year our son turned four, began ice-skating, and started to lose his baby face. It was the year our middle daughter turned two and shared her amazingly cute personality with so many people. It was also the same year where the best and worst came together in one tiny 6lb 6oz package just 2 weeks shy of her due date.
2015 was a year of learning. It was the year I learned about a rare genetic condition, CDKL5, a condition that impacts approximately 1200 identified people in the world. A condition that has now consumed more of my life than I could ever imagine five characters tied together could do, more than I would like. It was the year I learned that I am emotionally, physically, and mentally stronger than I would have ever given myself credit for. It was the year I learned that sometimes bad things happen simply "just because". It was also the year I realized that even the most well versed medical professionals do not have all the answers.
2015 was a year I was challenged in every possible way imaginable. I faced hurdles I never could have fathomed I would be faced with, ever, during my lifetime. I have been placed into situations no parent should ever have to endure. I have been asked questions that have no answers. I have had to make choices that again, no parent should ever have to. These challenges continue to mold me into a different person. These challenges have given me new perspectives, new direction, and new strength. I continue to learn more about myself with each new challenge that I face.
2015 has been a year of change. Our family of six will not ever be the same. We will not ever just be a typical family of six. 2015 has forever changed our title to one of, "a family with special needs". While we say goodbye to 2015, it will be a year we will not ever forget. It will be the year that forever changed me, changed Sam's and my parenting, and change us as a familial unit. For that, I am thankful. 2015, just like 2013 and 2014, has been another year of preparation for the years ahead. Just as we were blissfully unaware of what was in store for us in 2015, we will have many years to come that will be filled with the same uncertainty and unknown obstacles. We will welcome 2016 unbroken, un-phased, and ready for whatever battles lay ahead.
So thank you 2015, and to 2016, BRING IT!