I just love when y'all send me emails. It's special because I know someone took the time out of their day to reach out to me. Totally makes my entire day!
"I was just wondering if you would write about something. I see your pictures that your husband and you rearranged on your walls at home, and you post a lot of pictures of yourself from your heavy days. Do you keep your heavy pictures on the walls? Or on display? .... So I just wondered how you feel about it, have you changed out all your old heavy pictures for new ones or do you keep them up for motivation, or because your little boy is in them?"
When I decorated our master bedroom in 2007, I wanted special pictures of me and my husband. My happiest times were on display...the pictures from very early in our relationship. The ones where I felt skinniest. We only had three pictures in our room because I didn't stay small for long. I packed on a lot of weight when Ryan and I got together. Over the years those three pictures stayed.
Those three pictures.... Reminded me for years what I wasn't. Those pictures haunted our room. I couldn't bring myself to take them down because they were the prettiest I had. I couldn't stand to look at them as I snuggled up next to my husband. They were a reminder that I wasn't as pretty or as small or as happy as I had once been. Talk about driving a silent wedge in between us.
As I lost weight, I still left them. I couldn't bring myself to change them. I tried not to focus on them. I think all along I knew my journey wasn't done. My story wasn't finished. Then over time I stopped looking at them. They were just another thing on the wall.
Last month, my mother-in-law had a birthday. I ordered some pictures of our family photo shoot for a frame we bought her. As I was ordering, I just added a few more for myself. I picked them all up and sorted through them. I put the duplicates I was keeping in a pile. And left them....
A few days later, my husband started taking down picture frames....all around the house. He looked me right in the eyes and told me it was time. He told me those still on the wall were not the woman he was in love with, that wasn't his wife. He started holding up the new pictures in awe. Side by side with the old ones. The old me.
We took down those three pictures in our bedroom. We put up three new ones that represent a happier, stronger, better family. My husband's favorite picture of us is the last thing we see as we go to sleep each night.
I struggled with removing a few....
I left a couple of them because in my mind it's still me. I still see myself as being that size. Plus I love some of the pictures of Caleb, I just happen to be in them. There are times I look at those in passing and it bothers me. Just eats at me. How did I let myself go for that long? Oh, how I wish I had better pictures with my child when he was itty bitty. But there is nothing I can do to change that. All I can do is make sure I never go back. I can cherish the moments I have now and in the future. I can't make up for missing certain parts of Caleb's baby years. I can't go back and re-do so many of the "firsts" that I missed because I was too tired, sick, hurt or lazy. I can't have that back.
I actually pray for the young mothers who stumble upon my blog who are like I was. I pray that they begin their journey before I did. I pray that they realize sooner that those little "firsts" are passing by so quickly. I pray that they do something before they miss them like I did. I missed celebrating my very first Mother's Day because my back locked up on me. We had planned to go to church, but as I was drying my hair my back locked up. I was in such excruciating pain. We missed church, but Ryan helped me get into the car so we could have breakfast with his family. We were driving to breakfast, I sneezed, and pain shot through my back. It was the worst pain I had ever known. We made it to the parking lot, I tried to get out of the car and it was impossible. We left my child, on Mother's Day, with Ryan's parents so that I could go home and lay on the couch. I spent hours crying, screaming, unable to move. My dad, my husband and my brother lifted me off the couch and put me in the car so I could spend the evening at the emergency room. My own husband couldn't lift me off the couch. Happy Mother's Day to me. And do you want to know the very first thing that went away when I started losing weight? Yes, my back problems. The back problems that kept me from playing in the floor with my one and only child for two years. I pray that none of you experience that ever. My body is better, but my heart, soul and mind still hurt for the things I missed.
I can't tell you why I held onto the pictures for so long. But I am so thrilled that I turned them loose.