Monday, December 30, 2013

dear 2013

dear 2013,

i am not sure where to start this, as it seems like there is just so much i want to say to you. so maybe i will just dive in and start at the beginning.

you rang in the new year with bad scan results, and a surgery that followed to welcome in february. you scared the hell out of me early on, and as i would learn, those early results were just the start of the fear you would bring. you brought a surgery that resulted in the worst physical pain i have ever had, and some of my darkest hours.

february 20th, the day the stage iv diagnosis came. a day you rocked my entire world. the truth is, i never recovered. another truth is that i know i never will. but i know that you already knew both of those truths since you see all of the hurt and all of the tears, some of which only you and i know about.

that stage iv diagnosis has affected every single day that has followed in one way or another. but there has been a constant undercurrent in all of the days of me being grateful, as time is so very precious.

you helped me to refocus my time. to focus on the people that i want to spend my time with. to focus on showing up for the people that i love in anyway that i can. to focus on making memories, not just for me, but with and for those that i love. to focus on saying my thanks for all of the blessings that i have in my life. to focus on being brave, and realizing that can range from going in for scan results to just getting up and out of bed on the days i want to stay in a little ball and let the tears roll for as long as they need to.

you brought great trips -- suncadia, gearheart, california, disneyland, minnesota, alderbrook, new york, vegas.

you let me see important milestones -- jess graduate from wsu, tyler get married, zach graduate from cwu, malena's 5th birthday, barrett's 35th birthday, all of our family birthdays. you let me quietly celebrate my 38th, and i am so thankful for that personal milestone. i still say my thanks for celebrating any birthday that i get, and getting older is something that i am so, so thankful for every year. you know i cringe when i hear people complain about getting older, as you and i know the important secret, turning a year older means that they got one more year - and that is something to be so very thankful for.

you brought me good scans results three times this year, for that, i can't thank you enough. the best way that i knew of to repay you was to take the best care i could of myself, and to continue to wholeheartedly love those that are important to me. i am forever in your debt for those good results, and there is not a day that goes by that i don't say what feels like a million well-deserved thank you's.

you brought a ton of green smoothies and me drinking carrott juice - which was huge. you and i both know that, i think that you had a big smirk on your face when that one happened. you were right, i liked it. you saw me say goodbye to sugar and dairy and meat, and you stuck with me when sometimes i was a little cranky about it.

you allowed me to take on some firsts of my own - skydiving (thanks for the beautiful weather on that day), getting a tattoo, taking a hot air balloon ride, going to new york city -- just to name a few. you have encouraged me to take the risks and do things that i might not have considered before, because why not, life should be about big adventures and being brave to try new things including the ones that you never expected you would do. thank you for all of the firsts.

along with the firsts, you also gave me a million of the day to day moments. waking malena up. making her breakfast. dropping her off at school. playing with her. hugging her. campout nights with her and barrett. laughing with barrett. time spent with family and friends. the little and the big moments of living each day. i loved every minute and every moment.
you have been a year that has constantly been filled with loss. it seems that cancer and illness were always swirling around, and you were the year for some people that were very loved to say their goodbyes. there were times that i hated you for that, and there were times that i tried to remember that it wasn't probably ideal for you either that those losses occurred within the bounds of your 365 days.

people rallied within with your year to do happy mail campaigns, to send 17 weeks of fun mail to jen, to send 36 weeks of fun mail to chase, ava, and tanner, to send countless weeks of fun mail to me. people sent love, prayers and mojo to jennifer, patty and her family, mike, baby burton, mary, sharon, chase and the others along the way that needed love.

you let me enjoy the holidays and celebrate all of the traditions they bring. you let me see malena's excitement that santa came, moments that i am so incredibly thankful for -- and i know my family is too. we thank you for from the bottom of our hearts for giving us these holidays.

so as your last day winds down, i find that i am grieving for the loss of you. you have been the hardest year for me to let go of, which surprised me when i started to realize it was going to be really hard to move on and turn that calendar to january.

though you brought me to my knees, i also know what you gave me.

you gave me 365 days of living. i had a full year with you. i got one round of really bad scan results, one surgery, but good news after that. i got to take great trips, spend countless hours with family and friends, check some things off of my bucket list - and do some things that i never even knew i should have had on my bucket list. i got to spend time with my husband, we got to watch our daughter grow together. i got to give hugs, laugh, cry, celebrate, cheer, support, encourage, and love.

i will really miss you 2013 for all of the good that you brought to me. i am sorry to see you go, and i wish that i could actually hold on to you for a little bit longer. i am not ready to say goodbye because i am not ready for your friend 2014 who is an unknown, and i don't know what he will bring. i will write him his own letter, but between us, he scares the shit out of me and i am petrified to my core about what he has up his sleeve. so if you could, put in a good word for me, tell him to take it easy on me and that i deserve a year that only brings good.

so as others will be ringing you out in grand style with horns/food/drinks/music and celebrating your departure, i am going to quietly watch the minutes tick down and cherish the time that i have left with you.

thank you for all of the good, and for all of the things that you taught me about myself and life that came from all of the bad. i am stronger and braver because of you, and i think that i will make you proud as 2014 comes around the corner and you fade into the background.

i will never forget you, that much i know for sure.

you are one to remember, i hope that you feel the same.

much love, me


  1. Beautifully written! Love you Alli!
    Thank you for all you have done to improve my life and outlook on life!! You have no idea what an inspiration you are and how much I adore you.
    Happy last day of a whirl wind 2013 and may 2014 continue what the 2nd half of 2013 gave you!
    Love you and have a great New Year's Eve!