Good Bye 2017 ~ Happy New Year
It is not often, while writing for HWH, that I share a lot related to my personal life. For today’s post, I just feel like taking it a bit “deeper”. I love the phrase “Happy New Year”, and the excitement of a coming year and new beginnings. I don’t remember, in past years, being incredibly thankful for a year being over. I am usually a “look forward” kind of gal. I don’t spend much time worrying about the past, and things that I cannot change. However, if I am to be completely honest,
I have to say, I am over the moon that 2017 is behind me! The truth be told, the last 3 years have been some of the most difficult of my life, and full of emotional and stress producing experiences. And they all accumulated into one huge disaster in 2017. Before continuing reading, know that, while it is going to get dark, the sun does come back out before the article is over!
My Beautiful Mother ~ Donna Joy
My deepest grief in these last few years was loosing my mother. Learning to unexpectedly live without being able to pick up the phone and talk to her, hold her sweet hand, hear her infectious laugh, or run my fingers through her beautiful silver white hair, has been devastating. We have all heard the advice to not wait to reach out and love the people you love, as you never know when it will be too late. BELIEVE IT! DO IT!
While traveling to California to be with my daughter while she gave birth to my first grand children, Evan and Emma, I had a layover in Phoenix. During that layover I got the phone call. My mother had passed. Standing in the middle of hundreds of strangers, I was secretly drowning. Unable to get a hold of my husband, I was more alone than I had ever been in my entire life.
The next week was beyond difficult. My heart was blown wide open, in little bitty sharp pieces in my chest. I needed to be with my sisters, to lean on them and support them, but I could not. More than that, I needed to be with my “Beauty”. While I was desperately needing and missing my momma, my daughter desperately needed her momma; me. She was pregnant with her first child(ren), getting ready to have a C-Section, become a new momma of twins, and she had just lost her grandma.
Just like no one can really explain what it is truly like to become a parent, they cannot truly explain what it is like to become a “Grammy”! While I had been an RN for years, and spent time in Neonatal Intensive Care, no one can really describe what it is like to experience that first hand. Equally painful was it to watch my grandson go through that as was it to see my daughter and son-in-law see their own child going through that. I should tell you right here that our little Evan is now a healthy terrorizing-his-parents toddler! Our family is blessed by Evan, and his tiny sister, Emma, every single day!
Not long after loosing my mother, I lost my father. While my father was absent for the majority of my life, and all my memories of him are riddled with negative events, and I had removed him from 90% of my life several years prior, his death still left me with many emotions to reconcile. I had not expected that. I somehow thought I would be relieved when he was taken out of this world, but that was not the case.
Sugar and Spice!
Shortly after my father’s passing, I lost my precious grandmother. She was the funniest person I have ever known, and is probably where my brother and I inherited the ability to say just about anything!
For The Love of DOG!
If you have read my blog for very long, you know that my happy and healing place is down a dirt path somewhere; anywhere. Hendrix is, by far, my most trusted and favorite hiking companion. Actually, my most trusted life companion. He never leaves my side; at home and on the trails. This last year has been so very difficult with Hendrix. While his loyalty and faithfulness to me has been unwavering, his own body is trying to betray him. He blew out his right ACL, requiring a surgery. Shortly after that, he blew out is left ACL. He is still pending surgery on that side until I can pay for yet another surgery. While Lady Bonnie is a very willing participant, and does so with the utmost energy and passion, I will always long to have Hendrix on the trails with me. Please don’t get me wrong! Bonnie is an absolute blast!
She is the most athletic dog I have ever owned and it is incredible to see her beauty and abilities exploring the great outdoors. I love her very much and she is a blast to photograph. Hendrix is just my “soul dog”! Watching him hobble around trying to keep up, or even worse, the look on his face when Bonnie and I go out the door is painful.
C’est La Vie
Divorce. That is really all I should share on this subject. If you have ever been through one, you already know that divorce SUCKS!! Let’s just say the sun has set on that relationship, and that is a good thing now.
Down To Bare Bones
While all this bullshit was going on in my life, of course, my health started paying the price. Osteoarthritis and, according to the Rheumatologist, probable Lupus, although has not been officially diagnosed yet. So, along with all the emotional pain, add actual physical pain to the mix. Yes, I have said a LOT of curse words over the last year, or so.
Well, if you are still reading along, sorry for all the depressing content. There is rhythm to my reason, however! All of life comes in waves! Sometimes we are riding on top of the waves of life; gliding gracefully across the waters.
Sometimes? Yes. We are knocked under the water, and we feel like we are drowning! The last 3 years of my life, including 2017, have taken me to some of the most dark and depressing places I have ever been. At times, it seemed like, no matter how hard I tried, or desperately wanted something to happen or work out, I just couldn’t make it happen. I was WAY under the water. I even knocked my head on a few rocks under there!
I have written this entire article to tell you something!!
You know what?! More than once in my life, I have proven this:
IF you will just HOLD ON! If you will look for and reach out and grab onto the life lines on faith, friendship, and love, there is ALWAYS a way through the storms of life! DON’T GIVE UP! Know that you are never the only person who is facing whatever you are facing!
Besides all the things that I shared above, I also, in my depressive and struggling state, almost destroyed my career, failed at several projects that I attempted, and just basically sucked at life for a while! But I NEVER GAVE UP! Did I want to, at times?! Oh, hell yes I did. In those times, THINK OF SOMEONE BESIDES YOURSELF!
So, here is the short version of how I got through the last 3 years:
- I humbly reached out and let my friends and family love and help me.
- I let myself admit and feel the pain of what I was going through.
- I, over and over again, reminded myself that I was strong enough to survive this.
- Most importantly, even when I didn’t believe it, I told myself, sometimes out loud, that I deserved to survive and thrive!
All these things are doable for you, too! You, too, can have a Happy New Year! If you are struggling, please, please, please reach out to someone!!
Where am I at in life now, since I did not give up? Let me say, 2018 looks amazing!
I have a new job that I am oh so excited about. My dreams to be on the road full-time are closer than ever to becoming reality. I have a new grand baby on the way. I am enjoying more than ever before, family and friends. I am making new friends almost daily. Hendrix will be having surgery no later than late spring, when my finances come together just a little more. I live in a new state and have already started exploring. I am learning how to dehydrate food and am really enjoying building my adventure-supporting pantry. I am planning some great adventures, while things continue to come together to take HWH on the road.
Good bye 2017!!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR READERS!!