As we welcome in the New Year we find ourselves thinking about the year ahead and the year that’s passed.
And I won’t lie, 2015 was a bit of a shocker. But at the end of it what we finally learned changed our outlook on life forever.
2015 felt like being inside a tornado at times, relentless and exhausting, confusing and incomprehensible. And when we finally got back on solid ground everything had changed, nothing looked the same.
But little did we know that out of all the wind and the rain would beam the strongest ray of light, one that would show us the way with more courage and determination than we could ever imagine. One that was just 13 years old.
You see our eldest daughter, known on here as The Redhead but who you will soon know as Amelia, was diagnosed with a condition we didn’t know existed until now.
After a couple of years of what you might call ‘general mummy-worrying’ about her constant headaches, comparably short stature and subtle change of appearance, I’d convinced myself that when she was finally called for a brain scan nothing would be found to be wrong. We’d go home with the familiar ‘oh she’s just a teen, they all develop differently’ message and we’d carry on as before.
But not this time. This time was different.
All of a sudden everyone started moving more quickly, issuing more tests, talking to each other, taking an interest.
And the outcome? A diagnosis of Empty Sella Syndrome and Hypopituitarism. Which in the most simple terms means our first baby can no longer grow or develop naturally, and hasn’t been doing so for a couple of years.
So she will be supported, tested and treated for the rest of her life to make sure she gets all the hormones she needs to be able to do all the same things as any other girl her age.
Why am I talking about this here? Well, of course there have been tears, fears, anxiety and questions for us all. But once our gorgeous girl understood what was wrong, and what it meant, she taught us the biggest lessons in strength and resilience.
Instead of hiding away she decided it was time to step up. Time to show that she could cope. Time to use her experience to help others. And time to get her worried mum to do the same.
The Redhead has always been very creative, she has an amazing eye for design and loves to write. She follows all the cool bloggers (ehem, not counting myself in that group sadly) and has dreamed of blogging herself one day. And so she is.
No one can tell Amelia’s personal story quite like her, so please head over to Amelia’sWorldofWonders and show her some support as she shares her story so that she can help others to feel strong and positive when faced with such a personal challenge. And along with sharing her growing challenge she has a lot of fun with all the things a teen girl loves, make-up, shopping etc etc.
And as for us? Well we just feel so lucky.
Lucky to have an NHS system that has promised to look after our daughter and give her all the medical support she needs for the rest of her life.
Lucky to have our beautiful youngest daughter who has shown understanding, sensitivity and compassion beyond her 10 years. And who has made her sister and us laugh and smile at every possible opportunity.
Lucky to have a child who when faced with adversity has the mindset to find the positives, to look for the silver-lining, to tell us how lucky she is to be so well looked cared for.
And lucky to have each other. Because at the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of the year, Nothing. Else. Matters. The health and happiness of your family and loved ones is everything.
So as we start 2016 this is my toast: To our children, to their health and happiness, and to every ounce of happiness they give us along the way.