You’re annoyed.

You shift uncomfortably in the ottoman as you check the time on your iPhone and note that the doctor is now forty minutes late. You try not to think about all of the barf germs that you’re now merrily collecting on your favorite ugly pajama pants as your daughter, the one with curls like a halo begins to pull on her shirt, the one she insisted upon wearing, indicating that she, too, is highly annoyed and would like to take off this shirt and GO HOME, thankyouverymuch.

Your toddler son is engrossed in a game of Angry Birds on another iPhone but stops his game for a couple seconds to cough that worrisome I-smoke-three-packs-a-day cough that’s sent you all on a field trip to the doctor in the first place. You frown but quickly turn it into a smile. Even with this annoying bout of what you think is bronchitis, everything is just as it should be.

You are happy. Finally.

You think about the first time you were ever in this pediatrics office; nearly two years ago now. Your new infant daughter tightly clutched in your arms, the frightening MRI images of her precious head on the computer, the referrals to the new neurologist – one who will take your insurance – and you remember how you wept. In public. Again.

You remember those horrible, heartbreaking days well, although the colors are fading into the background, the sights and sounds and triggers all fading into a dusky shade of their former vividness.

You won’t forget. Ever. You know that on your deathbed, you will remember, as those are days you can’t forget, but now, they’re losing their power.

Life is moving forward.

You think of the year that seemed like it was never going to end. The year ends tomorrow.

All of those things you thought you’d never leave behind, all of those things have been put squarely to bed.

Those dragons have been slayed.

Certainly, there will be new dragons to battle, but for now, you stand with your daughter, the one with curls like a halo, proud and triumphant over the bodies of the fallen dragons.

A smile plays on your lips as you think of what’s to come. Of the people you’ll meet and the people you’ll learn to love. Of all of the things that you’ll do with the next 365 days. This year, you know there is hope because there is always hope.

The doctor finally comes in and greets you by saying, “I can hardly believe you’re the same people!”

And you smile and laugh, because you know just what she means.



44 Responses to All That You Can Leave Behind

  • Adriane says:

    I hope your son gets better MUY PRONTO! I am so glad you guys are in such a different place now.

  • Sherri says:

    Here’s to leaving things behind….and may 2011 be a year in which you leave those things even further behind.

    Curls like a halo….love that image, and it fits!

    Happy New Year to you!

  • You are a powerful and eloquent writer, in addition to your otherwise general awesomeness. I’m so happy for you and wish you nothing but exploding rainbow unicorns of happiness in 2011, chica.

  • Kelly says:

    So well said. 2010 was one neverending battle after another. I’m ready for it to be over as well.

    Cheers to 2011! (Raises water glass…only one around.)

  • Leslie says:

    Much love to you, Aunt Becky. You’ve taken your power back from the dark things. Thank you for sharing your stories with us – it means a lot!

    Happy New Year!

  • Tershbango says:

    AMEN to all we’re leaving behind. This has been a rough year for so very, very many people.

    I wrote my year-end post last night and ended up a bawling mess. I’m going to go to bed early tomorrow and wake up in 2011 believing things will be a bit better for all of us.

  • Nancy P says:


  • I really love this. Beautiful. So very hopeful. As you should be.

  • Can’t say anything more than, LOVE this!

  • Melissa says:

    I love you and yours. YOU make me happy when skies are grey.

  • Rebecca says:

    This line “Certainly, there will be new dragons to battle, but for now, you stand with your daughter, the one with curls like a halo, proud and triumphant over the bodies of the fallen dragons.” I’m going to chew on it for awhile. Because I feel a post of my own brewing (probably not until tomorrow because company is on its way). I’ll start the post with this line and link back to you.

  • Jana A says:

    Amazing where you are now compared to then. Or to 6 months ago. Or in a lot of ways, to a month ago. Here’s to a bitchin 2011.

  • JenniferB says:

    From one prankster to another, I’m so proud of you, Aunt Becky. You really have come a long way from the darkness and dragon laden mire. I think you and Mimi together can conquer all things miserable and asshatish. You both rock! Hope Alex feels better. Dumb bronchitis doesn’t know who it’s fucking with, clearly.

  • JenniferB says:

    From one prankster to another, I’m so proud of you, Aunt Becky. You really have come a long way from the darkness and dragon laden mire. I think you and Mimi together can conquer all things miserable and asshatish. You both rock! Hope Alex feels better. Dumb bronchitis doesn’t know who it’s fucking with, clearly.

  • Katya says:


    Okay, well, I’ve been sniffling for the last 3 days non-stop (damn bacteria/virus!) but this, well, this is a different *sniff*

    Okay, I admit it. You made me all teary. Again. You are strong and beautiful and amazing.

    Thank you for sharing your hope with us.


  • rayebaby says:

    doesn’t get more motivating than that. You da Woman, Aunt Becky!

  • Ginger Magnolia says:

    What a great ending to your tumultuous year. Very happy to see that Mimi’s doing so well, and hope Alex feels better soon. Happy new year!

  • From one of my favorites: “”When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.” ~Khalil Gibran

  • Betty M says:

    Wishing all of you the very best for 2011 and beyond. What a difference a year makes!

  • triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom

    That is a great wrap-up post. I love the slaying dragons analogy and I hope the little guy gets better soon.

  • Heather says:

    I love posts like this. Life is so much better when you’re in a happy place!! 🙂

  • My son was 10 years old when I finally didn’t cry on his birthday! Apparently, I’m a slow learner!

  • westwood says:

    Heartwarming and inspiring. Also, what is with doctor’s and their inability to be on time? Just sayin’.

  • Kristin says:

    You always make me want to be a better me. You write and touch my soul every time. PERFECT. Another post I just adore.

  • Jo says:

    Aunt Becky,

    Thanks for always being the shining beacon of light around. I really wish you a perfect and uneventful (in the best way possible) new year.

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream

    You are amazing my friend. Thank you for being a part of my life and I hope y’all get rid of the creeping crud from your house.

  • a says:

    Never forget, but don’t let it drive your life. Looks like you’ve learned that lesson! I think we can consider “Bringing Aunt Becky Back” a success – solely based on this.

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie

    I love the power in the fact that you had come so far it was hard to believe that you were the same people. That is so wonderful.

    Also, the imagery of you and your daughter with curls like a halo standing over those slayed dragons. So much hope there.

  • I like you.

  • karen says:

    You wore your PJ bottoms to the doctor’s?! DUuuuuuuuuuude …


    (Aaaaaand the top too, I hope?!)

    I love that you get the process. That, regardless of the hard feelings you feel, you see that you are not where you were, and you make choices when you can to get you to a better place.

    I love that cuz that’s me too. And it is really, really sucky hard on the difficult days, the sad days, the days when it isn’t as easy to see. On those days I just put one foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other … and sometimes I even remind myself (without words) that the moment I am in is only but a moment in time, and that another moment will come along to replace this one, and this one will be gone, and eventually a moment will come along that is not quite as sucky and it will be easier to put one foot in front of the other.


  • C.M. says:

    I love this post (and the last two, as well). The perfect year-end wrap up. All the best to all of you in 2011!

  • Allison says:

    I’m reading all the comment love and I thought to myself someone needs to say something. If you get to0 comfortable and think you’re all that and a bag of oreos you’ll start to suck. Writing equals pain and this comment love is canceling out some of the pain. I’m here for you as your new BFF to make sure you know, you’re still a dufus no matter how well written the post.

  • Kelley says:

    Love this post, Becky! Happiest of New Years to you & yours.

  • TheTameOne says:

    Raise that glass you dragon slayer you. ?
    Heres to a stellar 2011!

  • Katie V. says:

    Aunt Becky, I’ve just started reading your blog and I’m touched by how candid you are about the tough stuff. And the mix of humour you throw in there. All the best to you in 2011.

  • schmutzie says:

    That previous comment? I don’t know what happened there. Fail.

    I really wanted to tell you that this weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday:

  • The Resident Bitch says:

    SO … you’re my hero. Like, seriously. I wanted to take a minute to let you know that, as I’m heading into my own brand new year, you have continued to inspire me Aunt Becky. I learned a hard lesson that you can’t pick your relatives, but you can pick your family. We’ve never met but you are so the awesome aunt that doesn’t come to town enough.

    Everything you share here has seriously inspired me to make changes for myself and for the people I love. You’ve lit a fire under this bitch’s fat ass to go for everything in life from a different perspective.

    I love coming to your blog every day and even more than that I love laughing and crying and getting frustrated with you and for you. I love that you are so real and unafraid to be exactly who you are.

    So have an AMAZING new year, Becks. Know that I admire you so much for your strength and unapologetic truth to yourself. You’re an amazing woman, with BEAUTIFUL children and a true joy of life. I can only hope to one day be able to say half of those things about myself.

    Thanks for inspriring so many of us and for getting the Band Back Together. Thank you for being yourself. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us crazy Internet People. Thank you for being there. Just … thank you.

  • Kristy says:

    I know just what you mean. What a difference a year makes in the life of a baby/toddler! I, too, am so glad to be where we are at now, rather than IN THE BELL JAR dealing with colic!

  • Beautiful post!

  • mumma boo says:

    Beautiful, love! Happy 2011 to you and yours from me and mine. Now, go smooch those cheeks! *blows kisses at screen*

  • Melaenis says:

    i really liked this post.
    however, i was most amused by the title of it, simply because of the title of my blog:

    so yeah. it made me smile today.

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