Reclaiming – my word for this year

Posted: January 2, 2012 in a river of stones
Tags: , , , , , ,

Fiona Robyn, one of the co-hosts of Writing Our Way Home and the river of stones project, sent a wonderful new year’s message. Every year she chooses a word to focus on throughout the year. What a thoughtful thing to do. Last year her word was “faith” and she learned to have faith that things would come together in her life and work out well. This year her word is “enough”.   She inspired me to think about what word I would focus on this year.

My word for this year will be reclaiming. I’m reclaiming me. Cee and I have had eleven rough years as we dealt with the long term effects of chronic Lyme disease. She’s been in the emergency room twice, near death with multiple organ failure as her body starting shutting down because of Lyme. She lived through a forty day coma and needed to relearn all the simple things, like rolling over in bed and brushing her teeth. Until she was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease a few years ago, the doctors had no explanation for this constant and terrifying cycle of near death and miraculous escape. We were living in continual fear of the next incident. How many times can one body go through that and come out alive?

The medical bills were astronomical, causing us to lose our home and go through bankruptcy. All the things we used to love to do, like hiking and camping, have gone from being weekly adventures to distant memories. I’ve become a desk jockey with no other pleasure left than eating when I feel frustrated. You can imagine what that has lead to. I’ve also gone through menopause, which makes the weight gain even harder to address. I look in the mirror and can’t connect with the old, fat person who lives in the piece of reflective glass. I don’t feel like that on the inside. I still feel thin on the inside. But it’s a very tired thin.

That is the past. Cee has made tremendous strides in controlling her Lyme disease. She isn’t working but she’s been able to take on a little bit of volunteer work, helping brain damaged adults. The pain and fatigue that are the driving factors in her life are more manageable. Her mind is clearer, quicker. Lyme fogs your mind and she’s come back into her own clarity. She’s my inspiration. In a few weeks we will celebrate our twenty-third anniversary by pampering ourselves at a luxury hotel. It will be a wonderful celebration!

Now it’s my turn, my time, this year. I’m reclaiming me, starting with finding my real body again. I want to be able to move freely and have energy. I’ve already started reclaiming the creative side of me by finishing my first mystery novel, with two more in progress. I’ve become a writer, and that is the true me inside this body. I’m loving the words that come out of me. I’ll be reclaiming more and more of the writer who has been living inside this body for the last fifty-nine years.

I’ll be reclaiming the freedom and ability to dream again. I’ll be writing my small stones everyday, expressing the beauty and joy I find in the world around me. I’ll be reclaiming the time to think and rejoice. I’ll be reclaiming my hopes and dreams for a future full of fun and adventure.

My word this year is “reclaiming”. It’s a very nice word.

What will be your word this year?


  1. Dear Chris,

    This brought tears to my eyes. Reclaiming yourself sounds like the perfect word for 2012, and I just know you can do it. Part of the your special word is “claim” which I believe if you “claim” it, and send it out into the universe, it will be yours. Wishing you and Cee much deserved peace, health, happiness and rediscovery from now until the end of time.


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