Monthly archives "December 2016"

FROM THERE TO HERE AND IN BETWEEN

It’s that time of year … time to reflect on the past twelve months and the things we were able to accomplish, as well as, the things we wished we had.   Like most, I’m sitting at my computer remembering good times, sad times, moments of happiness and sorrow.  It has been a year of many highs and some very deep lows for me, a rollercoaster of emotions that have taken me to places I want to go again and places I wish I could erase from my memory as if they never existed.  I haven’t blogged much (hardly at all), so I thought I would sum up my year in one post.  Here it is:

  1. In January, I received my first of many calls from The University of Kentucky Hospital. Why do you ask?  Well, they wanted money, of course. Money for the ER visit and surgery my youngest son had back in September when he scalped his head at school.  We will just say, the lady on the phone and I didn’t exactly hit it off since her demeanor wasn’t all that friendly.  As I think back on that phone call now, I want to laugh because as soon as her attitude flew, so did mine.  Needless to say, nothing got resolved that day, however, in the coming months, Celeste and I would become quite acquainted with one another.  In the end, she ended up being a HUGE advocate helping to get the bills paid from our school systems insurance.   It took exactly one year and one week to have them all paid and that was after many tiresome calls, faxing of bills here, there, verification of what my insurance paid sent and then not received, threats of collection agencies, not so friendly calls to our superintendent, etc.  I know the important thing is that my son was okay, but when you have an excess of 100 grand of debt looming over your head, it becomes quite stressful.
  2.  In February, my sister, who is terminally ill, was dealt a blow when her husband asked for a divorce.  As if the devastation to her wasn’t enough, it was so much more than that, as my ex-brother in law was her primary caregiver (legally speaking.  My mother has always provided most of her care.)  I could say a lot here.  In fact, I’ve written and deleted several times, but I’ve decided to take the high road and spare you all the bitter details.  Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on.
  3. Instead of flowers, May brought tears with the passing of a beloved woman, who was so many things to me that I can’t think of a significant enough title to honor her.  Carolyn Conley was both of my boy’s preschool teacher, she is my co-worker’s eldest sister, my friend, all too often a lunch date, a supporter of my writing, fun travel companion, and our last stop on Halloween because she gave out the best bags of candy.  My list could go on and on.  She was truly one of the kindest people I have ever known and nothing I could say would ever properly describe her gentle and compassionate soul.  I loved her.  My kids loved her.  My husband loved her.  Our community loved her. She was a rare gem that is truly missed.
  4. Life hasn’t been all stressful or burdensome, though.  In June I took a girls trip to North Carolina with two friends (I blogged about this).  We had a blast.  I mean, we had an awesome and relaxing time visiting some of the places where Nicholas Sparks books are set.  If you’re a fan, you should visit and even if your not, you should still go because there are some really cool sites to see.
  5. July brought my husband’s and my 16th wedding anniversary.  I can’t begin to explain the amount of love I have for this man.  He is my rock, my soul, my best friend and better half.  And yes, I truly mean better, because I know without a doubt he could do so much better than I and yet he chooses every day to be my partner in this life.  There is no better feeling in the world than to know you are loved and he lets me know every single day.
  6. If I could pick a time to back up and replay again, I would pick July.  I’d replay it over and over and over.  Stop, rewind, play.  Stop, rewind play.  We vacationed in Florida with two other families that month.  There were ten of us in a house.  We stayed up late, played cards, had cocktails, listened to music, ate together, and laughed together.  Each night after the kids went to bed, the adults swam in the pool until the early hours of the morning.  My family snuck off to the Key’s for two days to visit my neighbor who has a house and boat there.  We went fishing, caught a shark, took a drive to Key West and toured Hemingway’s house. I also had the best (and expensive) lobster grilled cheese sandwich.  To say it was a great vacation is an understatement.  It was one of the most relaxing times I’ve ever had.  Unfortunately, if I had known what I know now, I would have done things differently.  I would have skipped the Keys.  I would have passed on that grilled cheese and Hemingway’s house.  I would have told my neighbor that we would catch him another time and I would have spent every minute we had making memories with those friends at that house.  I would have stayed in the pool later.  I would have talked until I couldn’t talk anymore.  I would have danced, laughed, cooked, whatever anyone wanted.  We all thought we were beginning a yearly tradition of vacationing with our families never knowing the blow we’d receive in just a few short weeks.
  7.   Man, it’s been five months and I haven’t written in depth about this.  It’s not easy.  If I had known what August 7th would bring, I would go back to that house in Florida and take in every word Anthony Gabbard had to say.  I would roll my eyes and head just so he would give me shit about it.  I would sit at the table by the pool and laugh about AT&T (inside joke) until the sun came up. I would tell him to eat all the pork you want buddy because who cares if your gout flares up.  I’d take more pictures and I’d tell him jokes to make him laugh because he had a great laugh.  On August 7th, after a night of shopping, dinner and a movie, my husband and I went back to our friends, the Gabbards, to play cards.  We stayed late or early, depending on how you look at it and as always, we had a great time.  Anthony and I were card partners and much to our dismay, we finally lost a game.  It was somewhere around four am when we left their house.  At nine we got a call that Anthony was being taken to the hospital unresponsive.  He passed from a sudden, massive heart attack before we made it there.  I have gone through a lot of emotions since then, but there is one thing that still plagues me and I think it always will.  Guilt. There is always that looming question of whether I missed something that I shouldn’t have.  It’s something I’ll never know.  It’s been five months and like I said typing all that out it isn’t easy.  He brought so much life to our group of friends.  He is deeply missed.
  8. August also brought a new school year.  My boys went on to middle and high school and yeah, that makes me feel old.  I suppose I am now.
  9. I turned forty and I hear it’s all down hill from here.  I hope not because I got a lot of life I still want to live.
  10. And last but not least, around Thanksgiving, my husband and I acquired a small parcel of land that joins our property.  Hopefully, in the new year, we will be begin building our forever home.  It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time and now our dream is finally becoming a reality.

Even with the bad that has happened, I look back on the year and can truly smile.  I have neglected my writing and reading, but I’ve also spent a lot of quality time with my kids.  I’ve strengthened friendships, worked on losing weight (down 15 pounds), gone to the theater and hiked a lot, I started taking pictures and cooking more.  I went to concerts, I’ve shopped and played board games.  I began volunteering my time and advocating for our local library.  I’ve met new people, got back in touch with others.  It has been a year of making time for the things that make me smile and really, isn’t that what life is about?  I believe it is.  I’m one blessed individual.

To 2017, may we all have a great one!