Sunday, November 30, 2014

The holiday season approaches…

Well Thanksgiving came and went and thank God, it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated.  On the actual day of Thanksgiving – we did not do our traditional family dinner.  Donald and I sat alone in the house all day and ate a leftover hamburger!  Now for the die-hard traditionalist --that is a first.  But two of my grandsons had other plans and would not be able to come so as opposed to having any additional empty chairs – we opted to move our traditional Thanksgiving dinner to Saturday.  My daughter came to help on Friday and we spent the entire day together which was good I think for both of us.  Saturday – I had some free time before everyone arrived and I got the crying out of the way.  It served as a pressure release and I was able to do dinner without a melt-down as I was able to put the sadness on the back burner.  She and I had talked about the loss of the kids and the situation a lot on Friday while we were alone and it kind of got it behind us and although all of us thought about them, everyone seemed to do all right.  I am still very relieved it is over.  I had dreaded it for weeks.

I was home for the four day holiday weekend and it has not been easy but it was okay for the most part. I’ve had my moments but I am learning that that is to be expected as apparently ‘this’ is my new normal; periodically crying, uncontrollably –at random unexpected times and in random unexpected places--maybe forever?  But other than thinking I am losing it --I'm good.

This has truly been the worst year of my entire life.  And one of the things that I was “thankful” for during our Thanksgiving meal was that 2014 is nearly over! 

It has been one nightmare after the other.  January – we got caught up in the ice storm that paralyzed the city as the four million people that usually jam our roads every day during our 3:00 - 7:00 rush "hour" --all tried to leave the city at the same time --in ice.  They jammed the entire city with thousands of stranded cars --some stranded for days and most didn't get home that night.  My husband and I spent the night in our car in a grocery store parking lot in a scary section of town (with about 100 other cars and two school buses!) in 18 degree weather with no food, water or bathroom.
We came home to find our neighbors two 90 lb dogs attacked our little 30 lb 10 year old dog and she was bitten multiple times and in shock and terrific pain.

In February my 44 year old son in law had a heart attack.  He was all right thank God but required testing, treatment and several days in the hospital. (they had no insurance…)

My mother's best friend, Rachel a part of my life as long as I can remember, passed away fifteen years to the day at the exact same time as my mother.

In March I had a car wreck – my first in over 35 years a miracle in itself considering I typically drive about 100 miles a day in a city of 4,000,000 of some of the worst drivers in some of the worst traffic in the U.S. 

There was a shake up in my department at work and my boss was removed from his position and was no longer my boss after 6 years.   So I decided to take another position in a completely different department.  It was a good move for me but still a very emotional, sad and stressful transition.

April, we moved into a rental house that has had one issue right behind the next - the traffic is a nightmare, the roof was leaking, large dead trees falling in the yard and this was the third such move in 6 years. 

May, my unmarried, 18 year old granddaughter happily announced that she was pregnant.   

June, my sister was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  

July, she and her husband moved in with us, I became her full time caregiver requiring we spend four to six hours a day in the bone marrow transplant clinic for a yet undetermined amount of time on an emotional roller coaster during what promises to be a long and arduous recovery from a stem cell transplant.

Several of the neighborhood dogs attacked and killed my daughter’s little Pomeranian that had been a huge part of our family for many years.

August, during a really scary complication with my sister, my brother in law accidently let my timid little Siamese cat out and she has never been seen again. 

Then just weeks before my sister’s transplant the unimaginable happened that made the rest of the year seem like a day at the park.  I lost my son, my daughter in law and the baby boy I adored in a violent, and most devastating triple tragedy leaving us all the misery of never knowing the truth about what happened because of a  botched  investigation that left my son to forever bear the blame. 
September, as icing on the proverbial cake, one of my very best friends and I parted ways after 37 years of being almost as close as sisters.

October, Joan had the dreaded Bone Marrow/Stem Cell transplant and 100 straight days of almost daily clinic visits for 4 to 6 hours a day.  Attempting to keep her in a germ-free, bacteria-free, fungus-free environment because she has no immune system.

November, Graft vs. Host disease, two diabetic seizures, three potentially deadly viruses, four different medical offices  --and a partridge in a pear tree.

December, Paxton's third birthday and the first Christmas in my adult life that I will not have my children with me and I will not, in fact, celebrate Christmas at all.   

That hits every major stressor on the scale and the worst one -- three times. 
I will be so glad to see 2014 in the rear-view mirror.   
New Years Eve will be one holiday I am looking forward to celebrating!

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