It is hard to believe that 2009 is finally over, and also another decade.   This is always a time of reflection for me and millions of others.  It seems normal to see how far we have come in our hopes and dreams, and how we have survived the surprises in our lives.

2000 was the year of my 25th Wedding Anniversary.  Five months later, my world fell apart.  We separated in December and in early 2001 we divorced.  So began more personal growth for me.  Why doesn’t God get it that sometimes I am AOK with the status quo?   Anyway, life goes on and I learned that I could survive on my own.  Fears were confronted and overcome.  I bought my very own place, and sold it. 

There was professional success (or survival).  I endured working conditions that were less than ideal but learned to shut up and keep marching.  Some people would argue that shut up point but I will stick with that story!  I found a great friend in a new co-worker.  I have held the same job since 1994 and I still love what I do.  What a blessing that is.

And in 2003, I met a wonderful man and started yet another new chapter in my life. It was a challenge to start over again with someone new and a lot of my family and friends thought I was crazy.  Actually, sometimes I thought I was crazy too.   We have a good life together and I am happy.  Hopefully he is too!  We met dancing and we continue to dance.  Maybe not as often but we still go.  He promised we would and he has kept his promise. 

Karaoke makes me laugh.  I enjoyed singing and listening to others.  You sound much better when others are drunk and they sound much better when you are drunk.  It took courage to be able to laugh at myself and just have fun.

Tequila makes my clothes come off in inappropriate places.  Enough said about that.

We travelled to Bridgewater, VA several times to visit with John’s son and family.  I have learned more than I ever wanted or needed to know about turkey farming.  On one trip, we stopped in Savannah on the way home.   We didn’t stay long enough so maybe we can go back one day.  We spent a week in St. Augustine and just relaxed.  It is heaven on earth being at the beach.  Why don’t we go more often?

I changed churches a gazillion times, always ending up back with my Catholic roots.  Even though they don’t want me, I still want them.  I joined a bible study for the first time ever and enjoyed it so much. 

I learned to play pool and even though I am not very good, I am a part of a pool league and occasionally even enjoy it!  Winning is better than losing for sure.  Pool also taught me that spending time doing something that your husband loves can be rewarding. 

We have this wonderful bundle of energy, Rosie that was born April 5, 2006.  4 5 6!  She is our Boston Terrier and she brings so much joy to our life.  She makes us laugh and reminds us that playing ball and going for walks are more important than almost anything else.

I also started doing yoga and I love it.  Who knew my big old fat self could twist and turn my body into so many positions?  And yoga has taught me to relax on a different level.  It is frustrating that I am still fighting the same 50 pounds in 2009 as I did in 2000, let alone the other 50 that I have never gotten close to!

Our family had marriages, divorces, births and deaths.  There were graduations of all kinds.  We watched each other struggle and held each other tight.  Time does heal all wounds.  I saw God work miracles in people’s lives.  Forgiveness came and bitterness left.  Prayers were answered in the most amazing ways.  And we all celebrated successes.   New friends were made and some old ones left behind.  And some older friendships renewed. 

And we lost Dad this year, which was the worst of all.  I miss him so much more than I could have ever imagined.  I am glad I loved him and glad that he knew it.  I’m glad I had the courage to speak at his Memorial and amazed at the number of people that cared about him too.   It is very difficult to watch Mom suffer and grieve, and I know I am no good at feeling helpless.

So, I gladly say goodbye to the 2000’s and hello to a new year and a new decade.  I hope and pray for peace and joy for all of us.


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