Week 27 was going to be about saying yes to adventure—about leaving on adventures and reminding myself that it’s not a time for stress or worry or anxiety about the unknown, but a time for joy and embracing whatever that unknown is. As I’ve said millions of times, I’m bad at that. I’m bad at doing new things because I don’t see the possibility, but the ways it can go wrong. I see all of the what-ifs and ignore the what could-bes.
But then a beautiful little girl and her parents found themselves in the unimaginable—a tragedy that left their hearts both aching and hopeful, that took their world and reworked it until the words “alive” and “miracle” are used at regular intervals to describe her state of being. And it was in this that I realized saying yes to adventure doesn’t hold the same importance in my heart that it did 27 weeks ago; that maybe in these 52 weeks, saying yes to chaos isn’t just about doing cool things and going out on a Saturday night, its about recognizing the strength in the beautiful humans around me, and it’s acting and loving them in a way that shows them how courageous and strong they are—how courageous and strong they make me want to be. It’s about the reasons to say yes, the people who are on the other side of it…the people I want to show love and care to every day.
And so, week 27 marks the change in my 52 week plan focal point. I can’t just write about adventures and chaos and staying out past 8 pm–fine, 6pm. Right now, they don’t seem important, not like they did. They don’t seem relevant in the same way, because while I’m worrying about something silly and made up in my head, one of the people I love most is worrying about the very real little girl in front of her, and the new life she will live after this. And so, I am going to adapt these next 25 weeks, adapt and understand that life is about learning from those around us, observing them, living with them, appreciating them in a way that is far more tactile and obvious than I’ve been doing. I’m going to love a little harder, and appreciate a lot more, and I am going to look to the miracles in front of me and be strong for them and because of them.
Blakely Grace, you are strong-willed like your mama. You are opinionated and loving and goofy, and I cannot, and will not, ever know what it is to possess the strength you do right now, surviving the unsurvivable, and giving every person in your family the courage to do the same. I want you to know they do it for you; they do it because of you. You are a seven-year-old with sass and smiles, and since the day I met you when you came into this world, I’ve failed to realize that you were not just learning from me and those around you, but you were teaching us. I see it now, sweet girl, I see what your love and strength and bravery can do for the lives around you. And I honor it. I honor you. I honor your mama and daddy and all of the people surrounding you right now, watching you stay upright when everything in the world says you had the right to fall and never get up.
I love you so much, sweet girl, and I am going to be here, loving you and learning from you while you gain back all the strength needed to jump in the pool and run on the beach and have a princess dance party. I’ll see you sometime soon. Until then, I’ll be following your journey every step of the way, cheering you on from the sidelines until you‘re ready for the spotlight again.
Love you always. <3