last year was a fiasco
a real disaster
so full of sorrow
[--Loudon Wainwright III]
but not completely sorrow-filled.
it was the first full year in our new house.
though it was not a surprise, brian asked me to marry him. i accepted. i mean, who turns down the offer to spend the rest his or her life with a person who is a completely perfect mate? i called my mother on the ride home, to announce the news to my mother and she said “congratulations… i think that’s what you’re supposed to say. i am not really versed in these sort of things. are you happy?” that is my family, quintessentially. [and the answer was and is, yes. very.] i got to speak a little about it with my grandfather, though our phone conversation was strained by his failing health. he said he was happy for me and how much he thought of brian. he said he hoped to make it there. [it was planned to take place three months post-engagement to try and allow him and my mother to attend].
he did not. he passed away in march, on my mother’s birthday, finally succumbing to the lymphoma that ravaged his body. we said goodbye to him in the small michigan town that he grew up in. finally, coming home to his family. the service would have had him rolling over in his grave, had he been buried yet. with a pastor who opened by calling all his siblings deceased, though some remain living and were in attendance at the very service and despite the funeral director correcting that error to the crowd in front of the pastor. the pastor then went on to misquote life details and repeat how “great” he was so often anyone drinking to the word would have passed out. my uncle [his son] had to step up and interrupt the guy, taking over the botched eulogy. in some ways, before that point, it was so bad it was humorous. but my grandfather did not have a sense of humor, so maybe the universe was trying one last effort to help him let go.
there was another, more private, loss.
i planned a wedding in michigan and visits with my mother through her treatments from virginia. i tried my best to keep my cool, but often lost it [though, considering all of that, i did reasonably well].
my horse got sick. suffering form unknown soreness/lameness that at one point was thought to be neurologic [and still not ruled out]. i have and continue to treat her and hope to get her back to riding shape, but it remains to be seen how it will all play out.
i got married to the man of my dreams in a ceremony that was just perfect. and my mother attended. we did not take a honeymoon for financial reasons, but found that to be a blessing as it allowed me to be there as my mother passed away in the days that followed my wedding.
i watched my mother pass away. heard her pleas. tried my best to support and love her through it all. tried to stop the clock because she wasn’t ready. believed it wasn’t so close. and realized it was.
i buried my mother. my only parent. and found that even when you know it is possible, if not probable, there is no way to prepare for such a loss. and it is not something you get over, you try your best to move through it, though it is never far away.
i cleaned out my childhood home. removing all the pieces of the life i knew. though it was not the life i lead now nor the life i wanted, amazingly it was a tremendous part of me that i cherished in ways i never understood. and maybe still, am yet to understand.
i supported my husband with his mother’s health situation. from thoughts of meningitis to confirmation of infections and heart disease. to the culmination of in his mother’s open-heart surgery in reno, with very tenuous results. in addition to the surgery turmoil, it was the first time back in a hospital to visit an intensely ill person since all that happened with my mother. and saw a man pass away in his room down the hall. traumatic to say the least. ultimately, she pulled through and has since made almost a full recovery.
i got a new boss [two, actually] at work. got ‘replaced’ but not replaced. found [and still find myself] in an unbearable situation. trapped in a ‘hostile’ and delusional work environment. hating every day requiring my presence at the office. working hard to get out.
i found out my husband would not be allowed to stay in the area and would have his next tour somewhere else in the country [or japan]. freaked out at the implications to my career and had to turn down two job offers [my lifeboats out of my current, unbearable workplace] because of the new direction. made peace with the change of direction and began to see it for the possibilities it offered, while remaining scared of the uncertainties.
i lost myself. in all of it, i was living but not quite alive. not quite accessible. and i could not see it until i caused almost irreparable damage. but i do now. the light is back on and it is as if i can reach myself again. something i have been unable to do for sometime. though i did not know it. it is as if i am actually living again. or actually trying to. without the experience, i am sure it is hard for someone else to understand what i mean, but it is what it is. i am so grateful for this awakening.
so as i try to put a moniker on 2011, i find myself at a loss. it was full of many different, major life changes. and it is hard to paint one of them as more important than all others. because one was not, each was its own entity, with its owns celebrations or trials and tribulations. i guess it could be best summed up as a year of extremes.
what is in store for 2012 [besides the end of the mayan calendar]?