It is very early in the morning on the last day of 2011. Like many of us, I am reviewing the events of this year as I prepare to welcome the next. Interestingly enough, I found a note on facebook that I had written on the last day of 2010, lamenting what a terrible year it had been. Dear friends of ours lost children, spouses and parents. Others had lost jobs or their relationships had ended. The economy wasn't improving, the housing market still sucked and we still had brave men and women away from home fighting wars. I was so glad to see 2010 come to an end.
Yes, 2010 was tough for me, the Queen of Empathy, however none of those losses were my own. I plowed into 2011 full of hope and excited for the new year. We started the year with a great trip to Wyoming with friends where we played in the winter wonderland like kids. February did see knee surgery for me, but it was minor and I felt so much better afterwards. March was great for me professionally as I was recognized by my peers with two awards at our annual conference. By April, I knew my dad wasn't well although it would take almost two months and numerous tests to finally get the diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer.
The next few months were a whirlwind of running between home and Bowling Green to help take care of and spend time with daddy. All that time I was also doing my best to keep the balls in the air at work. As many know, watching someone you love die is terrible, so much so that while the final breath is heartbreaking, the relief is sweet, at least until the numbness wears off and the grief sets in. Grief is debilitating. I've said before that the loss of my father reopened the wounds of losing my mother and sister before him. I struggle daily with the loss of my family. Grief has become my constant companion. It has robbed me of my joy, my ability to be kind and my patience. I keep a grasp on knowing that it is a temporary state, at least I hope so. I pray that this current version of myself is not permanent.
We buried my dad on a lovely summer day at the end of August. I have missed him every day. Within a week of my dad's passing, one of the dearest friends I have ever known told me that she is moving to California. I did not think my heart could possiblly be any more shattered, but I was wrong. I still can hardly talk with her about the pending move. At the first of this month a beloved friend, who had also been a member of my team at work for the past ten years had major surgery. She did not recover and died just a few days before Christmas. Sweet Robbie, I will always miss you. Christmas was bittersweet. My small family spent it in St. Augustine, which was beautiful and nice, however my husband had to stay in Tennessee to care for our dog who had complications after a tail surgery. I hated being apart from him.
As I ramble on and on, I am trying to get the the point that all years are challenging. Maybe not for each of us personally, but probably for someone we know. As we get older our losses grow. It is logical. It is sad. It is true. The New Year will be here in just a few hours. I'm not one for resolutions, I fail enough without having to set myself up to do so. This year, I especially do not need to set resolutions. I am entering this year depressed, bitter and angry, not really the mind set you need to tackle a resolution. I am going to allow myself to ride out these feelings for as long as it takes to waddle through my grief. I'm not going to pressure myself to make a change, have a new beginning just because the calendar rolled back around to January.
I am, however, ending this blog with the end of the year. It feels right. During the months that I have used blogging as a tool to help me cope with my dad's sickness, I did discover that I love it. I am intending to blog further, but not in the forum that this one was created. Thank you for reading, thank you for reaching out, thank you for the support. I sincerely wish each of you a Happy New Year.