"For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes." - Dag Hammarskjold

Sunday, November 10, 2013

celebrating lives greatly full :: sasja nieukerk

Sasja Nieukerk is one of those women you meet... and you just know you'll never be quite the same.  I first met her through work and was struck by her humour, her enthusiasm and her appetite for life. Oh, and her smile.  Seriously one of the best ones out there! We have not worked together for many years now, and she lives on the other side of the country, yet we have managed to forge a friendship that is fed by the quality of the time we spend together if not the quantity.

Sasja has gone on to do great things professionally. And in her personal life, she remains active and engaged.  In more ways than one.  :-)  She has always been supportive of me and I am thrilled she accepted my invitation to participate in *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful*. Thanks Saga - you rock!

What am I grateful for?

Spontaneous learning.

I love learning – can’t get enough of it. There’s lots of learning that I’ve planned and expected over the years, but somehow it’s the spontaneous learning that really takes hold - the learning I didn’t plan on, the discoveries I could not have predicted.  Late in 2012, I was surprised to discover that I was pregnant – this was not something Neil, my fianc√© and I had planned, in fact far from it. But well, those drugstore tests don’t lie! Our days and weeks cycled through shock, anger, crying (well ok, it was just me doing the crying), and then finally acceptance. Then lo and behold, even a little bit of excitement started to creep in. All our talk of “this isn’t the right time, we’re not ready for this yet, etc.” started to fall to the wayside. I had not ever really expected to want children – for 39 years I’ve been quite content without any – and yet I now held this precious little life inside me, and suddenly wanting it became supremely important.

So 2013 started with two big events: the first was telling my family the news on New Year’s Eve. The second was New Years Day, when I started bleeding profusely and ended up making the first of several trips to the emergency room. A week later, I’d lost the baby. It took months for my body to recover (my mother always said I had a habit of “go big or go home”), and even longer for my heart to heal. I don’t think I have ever been as depressed as I was through the early part of the year. Yet in the midst of it all, one thing had become crystal clear: I want a child. I wanted to share my life with Neil and create another life together. 

I should say that I would have been ok figuring that out without all the drama involved, but then again, that's how the learning was presented to me, and I am so immensely and intensely grateful for it. About as grateful as I am for the gift I received on my 40th birthday this August - another positive pregnancy test. Now 4 months into my pregnancy, there is no end to the things I am and will be grateful for over the upcoming months and years ahead!

Happy Halloween!

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