Courtney S. Barr

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: Strength

New Years Eve.
Wow. 2008 is at its precipice. My 27th year around the sun is coming to a quick close. I normally don't do the resolution thing, at least not in writing (seems too binding :) )but this year I find myself being more retrospective than usual.
Back at Thanksgiving I created a blessings list. It had all the usual suspects: husband, dog, family, friends, health, technology (hey it gives me a blog), fashion, etc. These things are ever present each day. When I look back at that list & I think about how each of them was able to touch 2008 for me at least once and on most occasions at least twice; I find that this past year my theme was strength. Every year I notice a theme. One that rolls through my moods, my decisions, my ideas and this year was no exception.
So strength was my theme. At the beginning of last year I never would have imagined all the exciting & terrifying things that came my way.
I found a new obsession -Twilight - it gave me strength in that Stephenie inspired me to forget what others think of your work, just create for yourself, actually it inspired me to just: CREATE. No matter how, just do it. (thank you Nike for that inspiring slogan that will forever swoosh through time).
In March I found myself in my parents back yard lying on a hammock and just letting go of all the gloom. I had been so depressed, winter blues to the maximum, and so I took a trip to Camden. A familiar surrounding of memories enveloped me & I found strength. This instance taught me that going home again is sometimes all you need. It did not fix everything but it gave me the strength to say "Okay, Courtney, what is going on and how can we work on this?"
In June it seems that I was surrounded by the theme. All of the Twilight women I had 'talked' to online became faces I now know. Luncheons & giggling with other women over a common new love was a blast. Seeing these women of all colors, shapes, sizes, ages, and ideals come together as friends was beautiful. The word strength does not even begin to express what they all do for life in general. I am most lucky that Twilight also created a new bond with my sister & mother, it opened a door that any daughter/sister would love to explore. I am so very lucky.
June also provided me with the admiration of my sister. Nina worked hard to get her certification for Jazzercise. She pushed herself, she worked, she loved every moment that got her to be an instructor. It was a road well traveled and in it I watched strength grow in more ways than just upper & lower body. I saw a confidence that I had not seen in my sister for years.
July - wow - I cannot believe that July even occurred. Here is where God decided that my theme needed to be tested on the individual not on those around me for examples. I will never forget sitting on a makeshift hospital bed crying my eyes out because of pain, then because of fear. I looked at a woman who I truly thought could not be over 35 (who is in fact 40) as she held my hand and told me the scariest 5 scenarios I have ever heard. I watched my husband sit silently and shocked beside me not wanting to call anyone due to being scared he would not be able to tell them what she told us. Then a week later I found a whole new scenario. I was still scared but I will never forget the peace & strength I discovered sitting on another hospital gurney waiting for a surgeon and listening to an anesthesiologist tell me to be calm and he would be right there with me through it all. Strength helped me through 8 more weeks of recovery, pain, and self discovery.
Then at the end of my own personal crisis one of my best friends had to dig for her strength. From Alabama I could only read blogs, talk on the phone & pray as Tracy, Mike, & Isabel walked a path that no parent or sibling should ever have to travel. Yet Brooklyn brought a new kind of strength. I watched a friend, a sister, go through life's hardest trial and come out with a faith & strength unlike anything I have ever seen. Sitting on a bed listening to the story of those last moments with her daughter made my soul even stronger and listening to Brooklyn's sister matter of factly tell us that Brooklyn was in the box made my heart swell. Isabel can still see that beautiful sister of hers in the room, outside, everywhere and the faith that she is watching over us all gave me a new strength in a faith that I already believed.
The fall wore into winter and football season was a joy. Seeing those kids play with real heart was amazing. Then the holidays... oh the holidays. Family always gives me strength. The love of my siblings, my parents, my friends - they are wonderful.
Through this whole year from the beginning to this day my common thread of strength was possible thanks to God and his angels. My outstanding, wonderful, crazy, hilarious husband has been my pillar. He has shown strength when I found myself crumbling and I am happy to say that there have been days where my newfound strength has been able to help him, to ease some of his stress. So 2009 looms ahead of me... what theme will be found here on December 31, 2009? I don't know, I don't mind not knowing. the journey of a year is priceless. So to all of you I wish you a marvelous new year, may your theme be one that makes you think, makes you evaluate, makes you cry, terrifies you, enlightens you, but most of all may it make you laugh, make you appreciate, and make you realize that each year itself is a blessing beyond all others! Happy New Year!


  1. You never cease to amaze me with your writing! Something as simple as blogging about the past year and I have cried like a baby! I am forever grateful to have been a part of the twilight experience with you! I hope 2009 holds everything you could dream!

  2. I love you! Thanks for making me cry again... you have a way with that. You have taught me many things also and I am forever grateful for you! Have a great trip and I like the new layout.

  3. You are a fabulous writer.... will you just write my blog for me from now on??? I love you and am very blessed to be so close to you... It has been wild year!!

  4. I love your background! Great post. I always forget that you're younger than me. Shhh. Let's acknowledge it this once and then never speak of it again...


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