Right off the bat, I have to say that I'm really glad this year's just about over. My family (both immediate and extended) has walked through some of the most difficult, painful trials over the past 12 months than we'd ever care to experience.
Granted, not everything was awful. My children and husband reached significant pinnacles in life, of which I'm thankful for.
Abby discovered a deeper passion for ballet, Ethan discovered his love for creating Stop Motion movies, Sierra reached new heights in Tae Kwon Do, and they all grew by leaps and bounds academically speaking. (And physically speaking too, if you really want to get technical about it. Sierra was most proud of topping me in height, and Ethan's not too far off, either. Yeah me!)
Dean's heart opened in the spiritual sense, which I never expected to see. On a more serious note, Dean finally had his spinal fusion surgery back in July. His recovery was long and painful, but unfortunately did little to alleviate his constant pain.
His work hours took a serious nosedive thanks to the tanking economy, and we soon found ourselves struggling even further to make ends meet. Most of the time, they didn't. At least, not without help.
Yet the most difficult experience this year was losing my Uncle Bret to cancer. It was very hard to pray, fast, and then pray some more-- watching with a twinge of envy as others were healed of their cancers--only to lose him on October 24th. (Did I mention cancer sucks?) The pain and deep sense of loss my family continues to experience is incredible. And while I've heard numerous times, after numerous losses, that "Time heals all wounds", I have to say with utmost sincerity: No it does not.
"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."- Rose Kennedy
While that might be one of the most melancholy of quotes, it's certainly the most honest.
Again, not everything was doom and gloom. I've had my friendships strengthened and/or restored; witnessed my faith, skills, abilities and confidence grow. I was finally able to take my daughter to see The Nutcracker for the first time, which was an absolute dream come true! I've met some of the most amazing, talented, gorgeous dancers through my incredible job--a job that I still pinch myself over! To work with such a dynamic group of ladies is nothing short of amazing.
I've been exceedingly blessed through the TOS Homeschool Crew, which has allowed my family to use some of the coolest homeschool products available. Every time I considered another subject for the children to learn, I'd get an email saying I was on the list to receive a product that fit that subject perfectly. Wow!
Most recently, I've discovered a new, exciting direction for my life; one that I hope leads to even greater challenges (in the positive sense!) and rewards. I'll write more about that as the time to put my plans into action draws closer. :)
I enter 2010 hopeful, but far from naive. I know every single day is laced with hardships and struggles. Mine are no different or more significant than yours. However, I am eager to see how this new year shapes up in comparison to this one....
Happy New Year, everyone!!! Drink some bubbly for me....because if I do, I'll be asleep before the ball drops! :) xoxoxo