As it has been getting closer and closer to New Year’s, like many I have been thinking about the last 12 months. WOW! It has been quite a year for myself and our family. We have seen darker valleys and higher mountain tops. Claire’s seizures and dystonia have pushed us in many directions, mainly toward the edge of sanity. In the midst of it all Claire continued to grow in every aspect of her life. She is healthier, stronger, happier, calmer, smarter and very much her own little 6 year old self. Chloe is 2. She is an exhausting mix of energy and determination. Meanwhile she is the sweetest, most compassionate and loving little girl. As we have gone through the many highs and lows of the last year I have learned a few things. One of those being that we are not alone. It isn’t just that we aren’t alone, we are surrounded by really beautiful people. Both locally and across the country we have been supported by people too many to name and it has been a gift that I truly hold close to my heart. The other thing that I learned a lot about this year was me. I went through an identity crisis of sorts. Trying to figure out how I lost sight of myself over the years was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is something that I am so proud of that I just want to shout from the top of my lungs, “hell yeah, take that, I did it!!!” I found that I am more fragile and strong than I thought. I rediscovered that I more than the sum of Chloe, Claire and Jared. I found that I had to continue to slow down even more and to tune out so much of the noise of life. Most importantly I found that I could. I know that going forward I can. It would be naive to think that 2012 will be better because Claire will wake up one morning and walk and talk or that I might wake up one day and not have the proud and self serving nature that I keep trying to fight. But it will be good. There will be highs and lows and whatever it is that is ahead of me, I look forward to going through it as me, the me that I fought to get back.