For instance - here I am in London, Summer 2001. I LOVED shopping there, especially at the Diesel store. And I am wearing a pair of Diesel jeans that until recently - I still had around. Not bad. :)
Now for the more serious segment - 2001 was the year my Mom passed away. It really was a first for our family. The first round of holidays, the first time I realized that she simply wasn't a phone call away. The first time I trusted that everything happens for a reason and the first time I really gave the term "eternal families" some serious thought. It was the first time that I realized that life doesn't end when you experience disappointment or grief, even though for a brief moment - I really really wished it would. And it was the first time that I realized that my Mom had given me all of the tools to survive. That I would be absolutely fine. I just had to keep on enjoying life. It was the first time that I realized I could really laugh and still be sad - that those two emotions could co-exist. It was the year that I came to cherish peace in my life.
Christmas 2001 - it was our first Christmas without our Mom - 1o of the 11 kids were able to make it home.
In a lot of ways - 2001 was the year that I felt like I became an adult, even though I was sadly 23 at the time. Most states consider people adults at 18, but I had found a way to escape that responsibility until that point. The truth is, I am glad for the things I learned in 2001 - they were some valuable lessons that sometimes take a lifetime to master.
I think about the little babies that I am growing - who at this point don't seem to be coming in the next few days and I can't blame them. They have their Grandma Brown (for those who don't know her, really is a fun time) and their sweet cousin Camille to entertain them - they are probably trying to maximize their time in heaven. I know if I was given the chance - I would too.
Right now - I am on the cusp of motherhood and I can't help but think of my Mom. In a lot of ways - 2010 will be our year of first time moments again. First time as a mother. First time staying up all night trying to feed, burp and diaper two babies. I hope I can channel some of her strength when I reach those - "Oh my gosh - I have 2 kids now" moments and remind myself that my Mom somehow raised 11 pretty good kids. Without a lot of the bells and whistles that I have outfitted myself with :)