2015… Holy Smokes 

It’s been almost eight years since my husband came home from war. Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday we were waiting at my husband’s various doctor appointments with kids in tow. I can close my eyes today and vividly picture the waiting room, the magazines, the nurses and the patients sitting next to us at appointments. I can still see the concerned faces of family members sitting next to their soldiers as we all waited together.  
“SGT Katter” a nurse would call out after opening the door that connected the waiting room to the nurses’ station where my husband would walk in, get weighed and have his blood pressure checked just before seeing the doctor.  
Sometimes, I wonder how eight years could have flown by so quickly. I wonder how my kids grew up so quickly and how I could already be 40 years old! How did I go from thin to chunky or from energetic to lethargic?  
On New Year’s Eve, I looked at myself closely in the mirror. I examined the fine lines around my eyes and my dulling skin. Don’t get me going on the white hairs popping out all around my hairline.  
In the past eight years, life has dished out quite a bit. Not only have I cared for my husband but my mother is also battling cancer. She has three to six months to live. My youngest daughter needs me to take her to doctor’s appointments. She has something called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Our family moved to another state this summer forcing us into new schools, new doctors, a new church, and the list goes on. 
Not JUST a Caregiver 
I have learned, I’m not “JUST” a Caregiver to my husband. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I’ve decided that the year, 2015 will be my RESOLUTION year. Just exactly what is a resolution? I decided to look up the word resolution in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online.  
res·o·lu·tion 
 noun ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən 
: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something 
My Resolutions, What I Can Control 
I don’t think I’ll ever find an “answer” to why my husband was injured in war, or why good people were hurt and killed. I believe sometimes there just isn’t an answer.  
However, I do have the answer to some things. How did I go from thin to chunky, how did I lose energy and how come I just didn’t feel as good? I ate those extra calories. I sat on the couch more than I exercised. I started to get depressed; I started to let worries creep up on me. I was not proactive in my own health, yet I was submersing myself in everyone else’s health. I forgot about myself, that I am the only one who can control my attitude, my outlook on life and my physical well-being.  
My 2015 resolution is to FIND MYSELF and ENJOY Myself. To find more ME time, do things I enjoy, smile more and laugh more. My resolution is not to lose weight, but to eat more healthy, to walk more, to LIVE more. The solution to solving my internal conflicts and outlook on life is to take life by the reigns and to stop looking back at the negative things that have happened, and focus on the positive things in life.  
Maybe you are a Caregiver reading this blog, or maybe you are a military veteran. Perhaps you are a parent or family member of a veteran, a civilian supporter of Hope For The Warriors. Whatever the case may be, whoever you are… instead of making a crazy New Year’s resolutions that you cannot control, I urge you to make tangible resolutions every day that will help you live a more happy life after war. We won’t ever totally forget the effects of war, but we can be productive. You aren’t alone in this life. We have each other. Once a military family, always a military family. There IS hope. Let’s encourage each other, believe in each other and LIVE. 
Love, 
Patti K.  
PS – As for those little fine lines around my eyes and white hairs popping out from the roots of my head, I count those as little blessings along this journey we call life.