It is time to say a hearty "SO LONG" to 2010. So many of my friends had a truly horrific 2010, so I think we're all ready to say farewell to it, and look forward in great hope and anticipation to 2011.
Speaking of farewells, this was a year that I saw too many of my dear ones pass. The last of my grandmother's siblings, my great-aunt Clovie, died at the end of March, having made it to 91 years old. She lived a wonderful full life, and so while we were sad, we also looked back with great fondness. In October, I lost Karen, a friend from college, WAY too soon. On the same day of her passing, Uncle Clyde, my aunt's husband of 50+ years, suffered a debilitating stroke, and he passed away about 6 weeks later. Then in late November, Mrs. Stewart, the mom of an old friend, passed very unexpectedly. Her daughter and I have known each other for 25 years now, and Mrs. Stewart was never anything short of warm and welcoming to me, every time I saw her.
There have been just as many stories of people battling all sorts of illnesses. I swore that I have never heard the word cancer as much as I seem to have this past year. And I just found out today that another old friend is battling the disease herself. Dear God, when will this scourge ever end?
My best friend's husband battled his condition all year long, it seemed. Three surgeries, several hospitalizations, and now an additional surgery scheduled in February at the Cleveland Clinic. Another dear friend had foot surgery recently and is still recuperating from that. My friend's daughter who has Dravet Syndrome had a couple of scary episodes - the most recent and scariest one happening just before Christmas.
Then good ol' heart disease, the evil specter that haunts my mother's family, made its presence known in a strange way, reminding us that he lurks in the shadows. In June, Mom became unusually ill, and we found out she had pericardial effusion (a/k/a "fluid around the heart"). The treatment prescribed was ... okay, don't get me started. I begged, pleaded, threatened, bribed, whatever it took to have her go for a second opinion. And in 2 visits, they did more for her than had happened in the weeks prior. A regular stress test became out of the question because her heart was in such poor condition. The chemically-induced test revealed that she'd had a silent heart attack. Her parents died of massive heart attacks. I refuse to stand by and watch that evil specter just take my mother without a fight. If she can't fight him off herself, then by God, she has a daughter who'll gladly take on the SOB and punch him in the nads a time or two.
But it wasn't an all bad year, either. There were little successes and joys along the way. My brother got a job. My friends are adopting a little boy, and they just came home with him right before Christmas. Another friend may be getting her first novel published. My friends Stoney & Jennifer got married, and I got to meet two wonderful families -- so I have a whole new slew of people to love! My goddaughter became a teenager (gasp!) who succumbed sadly to Biebermania (oh child, if you think he's sexy, then an intervention is in order).
And I got a 2nd set of soul-sisters to love. My first set is my d'ranged friends (spelling intentional), and my second set are my Chirp girls. They have both been my lifelines and I could not have gotten through 2010 without them. Period. End of story.
Here's to 2011.... to breathing, to living and moving and having our being, to joy over sadness, to conquering our fears and pains!!
Oh, and I wanna learn to ski this year. Yep. I do.