Here, have a cute photo of the kiddo on a slide.
I have been procrastinating on writing here, because I have not felt like I can write about the topics I really want to expound on. In past posts, I have briefly touched on how crazy this past year has been, and part of me feels a bit like a drama queen for doing so.
But the reality is that it's been a rough year. For a lot of different reasons.
Several trips to the ER, three hospitalizations. My dad not only going into a nursing home, but now being at his third one, one that we had to scramble frantically to find and get him into. Medicaid application, the most cumbersome pile of paperwork I've ever seen. My mom sold their house and moved in with us. El Hub works unspeakably long hours, so much that the kiddo sometimes doesn't see him for days on end because El Hub leaves before he wakes and come home after he goes to sleep. The year involved lots of packing, lots of research, lots of doctors, lots of co-pays, the sort that add up to make your eyes pop while simultaneously making you grateful for insurance (until that very insurance refuses to pay for something you need). And a few of us in my family entered this new year still waiting for answers, with appointments already penned in our 2013 calendars.
I feel like this year hasn't been as utterly awful as it could have been because we are a close family. I was raised to believe that family is vitally important. Name your cliche - get in each other's hair, rub the wrong way, drive each other up a wall. We can drive each other nuts, but we are infallibly dedicate to being there for one another.
Some people not as close to us in our lives have quietly slipped away, which hurt. But tough times are a test of fire; not everyone can take the heat. And since it's not happening to them, they are not required to stick around. So they don't. I imagine we've all been guilty of it at times in our lives, but that doesn't exactly make it easier to bear when you realize that the people you care about don't quite care about you the same way.
Others reached out, for which I am forever grateful. Even the text messages I received acknowledging what we were going through could bring a smile to my face. But when limited with time and energy, sometimes all we were able to do was text back a quick thank you. And that doesn't do these folks justice for trying to find something comforting and helpful to say during these difficult months. It's my goal to reconnect with all of these folks to give them the time and attention they deserve.
Then there are the people who were able to weave their way into our chaotic lives. I cannot tell you how many folks offered to help out with the kiddo, bring food, and just talk any time we were ready. One family member hopped on a plane. Friends shifted their own kiddos' schedules in order to take care of ours. People listened to me rattle on about the latest issue complicating our circumstances. People remembered, and followed up with us when they knew we were supposed to have updates. These people I also hope to be a better friend to this year, when the time arrives that healthcare and bills and houses consume less of my thoughts.
So all of these dominoes may have been crashing down in our own lives, but our friends and family helped us feel less alone. This is what I am grateful for.
Like most, I had hoped to feel that we could wipe the slate clean for 2013. But money, homes, and especially health are sometimes out of our control. So instead of the unrealistic starting fresh, I am thinking in terms of starting differently. Tackling the day differently, changing certain priorities. Getting back to all those friends who texted. And writing here.
Wish me luck. And I wish you a happier 2013.