A weekend in the middle of September... I'd had a super busy day on Saturday but enjoyed every second of it. I was looking forward to meeting up with Renee' for a walk on Sunday morning. When she pulled up in the parking lot she said she hardly recognized me because I look so skinny. I just smiled and said I'm not skinny but thanks :) She makes me think about things I would never allow to enter my mind on my own. And I need that. Having someone challenging me to keep stepping out of my comfort zone has been a key part of the success I've found in rebuilding my life over the last 8 months. What's been even better? She keeps pushing me but still lets me do things at my own pace.
It's so funny how we just talk and it doesn't even feel like we're getting exercise at the same time. We walked for over an hour and eventually sat down and kept talking for awhile. I told her some more things about scars that I have and she said something that will stick with me forever. I can't repeat it exactly like she said it (I'm not as good with words) but it was something to the effect of - scars can be painful reminders or beautiful symbols of what we've overcome. Although I'm still working on it every day, I want my scars to be beautiful symbols of all the hardships I've found my way through. Without these scars, I wouldn't be who I am today. And I'm starting to see I'm a pretty great person, scars and all!
The rest of the day was going to be busy. I am lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of time babysitting my niece and nephew. I cherish the time I get to spend with them and I love being a part of their lives. A year ago, my idea of being a part of their lives was to sit around and watch TV and maybe go in the basement and play a game with my nephew. Now, I love being active with them. That day I took them to the park, we played on the playground, did some swinging and then walked a little bit on the path. We even had "races" and I lost each time. But, they loved every second of it. A year ago, I would have been exhausted after just 15 minutes. Now, sometimes I'm the one with more energy!! We tried to take a "selfie" after our races - didn't turn out the best but I still love them :)
We ended up at Skyline for lunch and the french fries I ordered for the kids didn't even tempt me. Of course, my niece enjoyed them and her ketchup a little too much... But it made me laugh!! And yes, she has ketchup in her nose!!
These two (along with my other niece) are a big part of the healing I've been able to do. They don't have any kind of preconceived notion of who I am or who I used to be. In fact, I told my nephew how much weight I'd lost (at that point, 83 pounds) and he opens his eyes and mouth real wide and says, that's a lot Mimi. It's fun for me to have him watch me make my life better. He remembers when I was "wide" (that's what he used to call me when we would try to go on rides together). Although he meant nothing by it, let me tell you, it feels amazing that he doesn't tell me I'm wide anymore :) He's watched me change my life and I know he sees a happier and healthier Aunt Mimi appear in front of his eyes.
My journey is worth it in so many ways but I will say that seeing my differences through his eyes is one of the best rewards I can receive.
I'm so blessed - and it just keeps getting better!