So Long 2008

THIS IS AN OLD BLOG from Blogger. 

So long 2008.  I can’t say that I am sorry to see you go. As my friend Donna wrote, this wasn’t one of her favorite years.  But then again,  I have no idea what 2009 might hold.

2008 started out on shaky financial ground which always makes life interesting.    In March we moved into a smaller house. It was closer to everything and had a peaceful screened-in back porch on a lake. There were birds of every shape, color, and size. There were ducks, geese, turtles, and even a couple of alligators.

We were moving boxes, smaller items, and preparing for the big move day. We stopped to grab something for breakfast that Saturday morning. My cell phone rang; nothing unusual about that.  But that call would change my life.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear  my friend Donna on the phone. We didn’t talk as much as we used to.  Life seems to get in the way. Emails, birthday and Christmas cards, quick hellos and how are you replaced long letters and monthly phone calls.

As soon as I heard her voice, I knew something was wrong.  She was calling to tell me that our friend Jan had died of a heart attack last night.  No, that can’t be right. Jan was only a year older than me. What is going on?  She had been my therapist about 20 years ago and since that time Jan was my best friend, mentor, and confidant .

A month later I would drive to Maryland  to attend the memorial for Jan.  Donna flew in for the service from VT.  When she walked into the church, we hugged and held on to each other. I didn’t want to let her go. We had only a few hours together and we would have to go back to our lives. But how could we?

The next couple of months were unreal for me.  Panic attacks, depression, confusion, and more ruled my life.  I had never experienced grief on this level.  I had to do something.  I tried changing my anti anxiety and anti depressant meds. That made it worse.  OK—time for something drastic-time to go back to therapy.

Where would I find someone that I could trust? Where would I find someone that would understand what the hell was going on with me? Who did I know? Beth? Can’t go to Beth because she is the backup therapist for staff where I work and a good frien. Deborah? I can’t go to Deb because she is John’s sister. John is one of my best friends and that would just be too weird.  Sue Ellen? No, she is John’s therapist and Sally’s best friend.  Lindy had put a therapist into our  list at work,  so I asked her what she thought.  She told me that she couldn’t think of anyone better.

That is how Rhonda came into my world.  She was the absolutely right person for me. That doesn’t mean that I always like what she tells me or that I even understand it all.  Therapy is damn hard work.

Just as things were getting better, my mother went into the hospital for a surgery to correct some problems in her back. That was in July. She would never leave the hospital. For 2 months I struggled with a decision about going to Florida to see her. I struggled with our whole relationship. I am so grateful that I was already in therapy and that Rhonda was there to help me through those months. My mother died in September, just a month before her 74th birthday.

December brought more issues to close out a chaotic year.  New Year’s Eve was quiet and uneventful.   No New Year’s resolutions, but I did set out with some goals.  Maybe I will share those in my next blog.

Was 2008 a total loss?  No, I believe  God can bring good out of anything in my life. I lost 52 lbs and then put back on 18 but hey-it is still a loss. My friendship with Lindy and with Carol grew so much this year. I added some new friends as well. My friends give me strength and hope. Donna and I have reconnected and renewed our friendship. I found an awesome therapist and I am making some positive changes in my life.

My friend Sonia gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Lydia. Lydia was born at 29 weeks and stated in NICU for a couple of months. She came home in December and is doing well.

I have rediscovered my love of reading and of writing.  I attended a writer’s workshop this fall and have a new circle of support for my writing.  I am looking forward to writing and learning more this year.

I renewed my commitment to spiritual growth this past year. My path is not clear; but is it ever?  Sometimes pain brings us back to a place of growth.

2009-don’t know what you have in store for me. I don’t think I even want to guess. I will just keep going-one day at a time.

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