- Family and Parenting
One of the Longest Years
what a difference a year makes.....
Odd numbers years seem tougher on us for some reason
Last year, we had an amazing year. Our team won the Superbowl, we went to their parade and saw our favorite athletes up close. We were able to go to Disney and Universal Studios plus enjoyed the NBA Allstar game and festivities. Our great year did not end there, our daughter was goal keeper for a tournament where not one goal was scored on her therefore earning her an MVP trophy. We got a new car, had a great Spring soccer season, watched my middle child graduate middle school and be inducted into the Junior Honor Society. He received a nomination for a soccer scholarship ( he did not get it, but the nomination was still an honor) After an excellent summer, we settled in for a great Fall soccer season with my one son starting High School and my older son as a Senior in his school.
Hurricane Sandy hit hard in our area, we had many friends who lost their homes, relatives who suffered deep losses and members of our community lost their lives. Simply losing power and cleaning up downed trees made us feel grateful that our luck was still with us although we grieved for the losses of others around us. Fall was the end of our "lucky streak" as the difficult times of our community settled on us as well. The shining light for us was the addition to two kittens that we took from rescue that was brimming with cats homeless from Sandy.
New Year's Eve was a festive happy day in our home as we spent it with fantastic friends and our relatives. We had hope that the new year would bring better times to our home and the homes of our neighbors. But as most odd number years go, it was not to be
I had been out of work for quite sometime post Sandy due to major clean up issues. I was finally back to work when our community suffered a school bus strike. This strike had a major effect of my place of business and I was out of work once again.
Early in the year, I had learned that a dear friend from High School that I had kept close contact with was in a coma. She had lymphoma which was out of remission for the third time. She had fought hard, traveling across the country looking for help. I had talked with her many times and she had vowed not to give up. Her High School friends rallied around her and we had a prayer chain that was strong enough to reach out to her as she regained consciousness. The doctor claimed it was a miracle. Alas this miracle was not to be. Her strong spirit left her weakened body in March of this year. I have mourned this loss very deeply since I had gone through the remission and the outset of the last cancer outbreak with her. Friends since age 15, I was left at a loss for my mortality and for a friend who was always there, loved my children and made me feel better when times were tough with her strength.
As my older son, who has Asperger Syndrome, day of graduation approached we were faced with the fact that our system is not designed for a disabled person who graduates high school before 21. We are still at a loss as what he is to do. He is finally, after all these months getting a little help and finding a routine. It is not easy. He is 18 and I am tied to him as if he were a young child. He can be left alone, but not for long periods of time. He cannot take a bus or walk anywhere because he does not understand how not to be impulsive and to close a street properly. He is 6'4'" tall and needs to be reminded to shave, cut his nails and clean up his dishes. He is very bright, but very limited. I am working on his future, it is exhausting right now but I will figure it out.
One night I woke up for basically no reason and heard water running. My oldest at times has left the sink running at full blast and this is what I thought had happened. I stepped into water on the third floor of my home. Water soaking into my hard work floors. The pipe had burst in the bathroom and it was raining all through my house with the exception of the upstairs bedrooms and our living room luckily. I woke up in time, the only ceiling that fell was the one in our pantry right below the bathroom. During that 3am clean up, I turned my knee and tore a miniscus. Two days later, my middle child broke his ankle. The bright spot was that our oldest son won a $500 scholarship award that week. So we took it, needed some good news since that week, my husband's brother also suffered two strokes and needed heart surgery.
Moving along past this tough month, we prepared for our eldest's graduation. We were very excited and very proud of him for overcoming his challenges and graduating on time and with honors. The most amazing thing happened when we got to graduation. He took the microphone and sang a solo part with the chorus. He also received several awards including the Chorus medal. His beautiful voice would weave through my dreams for days afterwards filling me with joy.
Upon entering our house after our graduation lunch, we found our 9 month old kitten collapsed in the litter box unable to move. Her eye was dilated and we knew this was serious. We took her the veterinarian who hydrated her and kept her for tests. The end result was that her kidneys had not formed right and that she was suffering. We had to put her to sleep.. This was devastating to our daughter who was 11 years old and Prim was her first pet. We all held each other and sobbed after we sad goodbye to this sweet little one. The only thing that kept me from suffering depression was the sweet strains of my son's voice singing at his graduation.
The summer went by with it's own challenges stemming from those faced in the Spring, broken ankle, drowned house, grieving child suffering nightmares and our other cat who now no longer liked being left alone. She was also grieving the loss of her sister. Our community was still struggling with the effects of Sandy and times were not easy for anyone it seemed.
We walked into the Fall with hope. Hope that my daughter would find joy in her new school. That our oldest would feel less like a "square peg" now that he was starting college, That proved to be a struggle, but luckily our daughter was happy. Our middle child was still suffering the effects of his injury which quickly moved to a knee and hip issue as well as the ankle. However, we adopted a new kitten to love who has given us great joy and lots to laugh at. My daughter's nightmares of her poor little sick kitten has decreased as her new little love climb into her arms purring and snuggling her.
We found solace from all the storm of bad luck on the soccer field. My husband had been the director of a club for over 7 years We had a wonderful concession stand running beautifully after many years of putting work into and learning how to earn money for our kids in an efficient manner. We had friends and a good staff of people that we looked forward to seeing each week. The long hours did not matter to us since the "family" we had put together at the field made it all worth it. The laughter outweighed the difficulties.
Sadly we were not permitted to enjoy this part of our lives. Our concession stand was closed abruptly with no explanation. Our decision to seek an explanation by one in authority yielded very negative results. I am still left wondering why questions are so wrong. Especially in a situation that promotes itself as a learning environment. However, as we all know this time in our world, questions often go unanswered and rugs are pulled out from under people for far less reasons than this. Therefore, hearts broken we trudge on. It is very depressing to have something you love so no longer existing for you, but then again there are far worse things, are there not?
So we hope. We hope for the new doors to open up. We hope for those who are in the know to bite the bullet and do the right thing by those who truly and simply wanted to advocate for those who were left powerless. We are trying to move on, others are intent on making that difficult, but this too shall pass.
Even number years tend to be more promising and joyous for us. We look forward to January 2014 with these thoughts in our heads and prayers in our hearts.