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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Adios 2013. You Were Quite the Ride...

Before we are too far into 2014 and I tell myself I don't have time for this because there are 10 other things I am "supposed" to be doing ~ I want to reflect for a moment on 2013. Most of it was as unlucky as one might expect with the number 13 involved...

I think it all started with Boda.

When my son moved to Austin in May it wasn't in the cards to take Boda Kitty with him so The Mister and I happily welcomed her into our family. Four days later after our Vet discovered cancer and a large mass on her liver, we said an extremely tearful goodbye to beautiful Boda.

My son leaving and moving out of state was emotional for me as well. After college he had opted to live near home and for the first time in my 22 year relationship with my husband, we had no children in town. We were truly empty-nesters. Not that any of that is bad; it was just an adjustment. 

June, July and August brought biopsies and ultrasounds and diagnostic tests to see if, indeed, cancer was roaming around my body. I'm the lucky one; it wasn't. But the whole summer was fraught with stress, anxiety and fear.

September rolled around and we knew that our time with our beloved 16 year old dog, Simba, was coming to an end. Our girl just wasn't there anymore. Our Vet suspected a brain tumour as messages from her brain just weren't getting thru. She couldn't remember how to go up steps and eventually she couldn't remember how to eat. On September 3 we made one of the most devastating decisions we have ever had to make and said a final goodbye to our sweet girl. The grief was overwhelming and consumed us for days. We didn't know how - or why - the world kept on spinning...

For some reason ~ who knows why except maybe The Universe thought we deserved a break ~ things took a turn for the better near the end of September. We took a trip ~ one that had been planned for months but the timing was perfect ~ we needed new scenery and a reason to celebrate. And celebrate we did! We, and 100 of her closest's friends, celebrated the life of someone so dear, so loved ~ my Mom, happy and healthy, as she turned 95.

The clouds started clearing and the sun broke thru after that. Life began to look a little happier. That is probably what led us to almost instinctively and on auto-pilot stop by the local shelter one evening and walk thru the dog kennels. We didn't speak of it but we both knew -- we were not leaving without a dog. And indeed, it was Kismet.

And in that moment, life changed. Everything changed. Joy came into our lives as she jumped deep into our hearts, settled in and opened up shop.

A month later the puppets I had shed blood, sweat and tears (literally!) over from January thru March came to life in the form of an Apple iPad App called Puppet Play. And there was my name for all to see. Wow.

Later that month my Austin son made a visit and our time together was like putting on old slippers and wrapping a warm blanket around us.

The Mister and I closed out the year alone - together - doing our favorite things ~ watching movies, making delicious food ~ relaxing and taking time off from our crazy, hectic work lives.

And then there was the surprise of the year ~ losing 28 lbs (and counting). All due to giving up dairy, chocolate, eggs, most gluten and most soy. Who knew? 

So a year that ~ for the most part ~ sucked, it turned out alright. My faith in love and luck and laughter has been restored. Gratitude for good friends and a loving family in place. Even though my sons, now adults, recognize I am flawed, they like me anyway. The Mister is still my best friend and confidant. My love for my little dog is ridiculous. Now two days into 2014 I am still pondering where I want to go in this brave new year, who I want to be. 

So that post is on hold for the time being.  Adios 2013. It was a ride.

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