Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thoughts on the last night of the year
2011 will be over in a few hours. In all of the obvious ways it has been a good year for our family. In spite of now having an hour commute to and from work, Mike's had a better work year than he's had in years. The company is doing well even in this abysmal economy, and Mike is beginning to see some of his hard work pay off. Jonathan and Madi, while growing up too fast, are growing into amazing young people, and make us prouder every day. Jake has had the best year of his life. He is much more agreeable than he's ever been. He still doesn't so much care what others think of him, but somehow he has transformed into a pleasant and mostly cooperative little guy. We suspect that starting the year out in a mainstage play was a turning point for him. Having his first lead role helped too. This week someone we didn't know actually recognized him in Publix for his role as Ugly in HONK! We've had a relatively healthy year as well. Mike's bloodsugar had some ups and downs (or should I say some ups that brought us down?), and we've dove into a lot of alternative therapies for Madi's thyroid, but at last check it is going in the right direction. So all in all a good year right? Well, that could be debatable. You see, we don't live in a bubble. Our close knit "family" of friends has been rocked to the core this year. In many ways this topic is not mine to blog about so I will be sure to avoid any names or details. Just as when things were good, it was hard to begin to explain how close our friendship community was, now that things are bad it is even harder. These are the people who put away our Christmas decorations when we were out of town for three weeks, the friends who supported me through Mike's illness four years ago, people who have helped to raise each others children, MY children! They are the "village", MY village! The "new normal" that we are now living is very much like a divorce. A divorce that has left some of us feeling like forlorn children. Don't get me wrong, there are victims in this tragedy and I'm not naive or whiney enough to be calling myself one of them, but it seemed like the time to blog about this because for the rest of my life the last quarter of 2011 will bear a stain. It is the kind of event that warrants a "before that" and "after that" kind of thinking. Let me tell you, life was much easier in the "before" days. I've learned a lot in the last few months. I appreciate my family and my faith more than ever. I've had a front row seat as I've watched God carry people I love through incomprehensible situations. Someday the new normal will just be normal, faith will continue to carry everyone through. I know in my heart that God is a part of this community however torn apart it seems. In the meantime, I will do my best to muddle through this unscripted scene that is life at it's messiest. I will pray that the Holy Spirit continues to guide me as I continue to guide my own children through this uncharted territory. And someday I'll stop wishing for those "before" days.