Thursday, December 31

Goodbye first decade; good riddance 2009

I'm hoping that this next decade of the 2000s will be much better for us. The first one sure has been a mixed bag. 2009, for us, has been pretty bad. I think the only year that was worse or tougher was 2001.

Here's what I remember from some of these years:

2000: There was a whole big hoopla to whether or not we'd even survive going from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. I remember some people thought the world would end or something because of the computers being unable to go from one millenia to the next. People thought planes would crash and banks and other government agencies would collapse because of the change in the dates? Weird. I also remember that was the year the election was stolen from Al Gore and given to George W. Bush. Ugh.

2001: My first husband, Rich, died. TB's first wife, Audrey, died. Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing hundreds and hundreds of people in the buildings and in the three planes they commandeered. I don't think there's been a worse year for TB and me.

2002: This was a good year. I took the kids to Disney World. We needed to do this after such a horrible year. I met TB, with whom I'd been corresponding online for the last 6 weeks or so. When we met, there was an instant connection. I know that some might feel it was too soon after we'd lost our spouses and could we have really loved them to have remarried so soon? I say to that: yes. It's because we had such great love that we were able to recognize it happening again. With life being so uncertain--how suddenly Rich and Audrey were taken away; the shock of 9/11--why wait? So we got married. We bought our dream house and were able to fix it and furnish it the way we wanted it done.

2003: This was a so-so year. TB got hurt on the job--he tore his rotator cuff. He wasn't able to work for most of the year. He had to have three surgeries before he could get back to work completely. We had to use all of our savings until workman's compensation kicked in. Suddenly, our country was warring with Iraq for no good reason (in my opinion). I thought we should have kept our focus and our troops only in Afghanistan, trying to find bin Laden.

2004: Things were OK here. TB went back to work and we refinanced the house to pay off a lot of our debt. It freed up our finances again. Michele, David and the kids moved to Tennessee and that was really sad for us. Our grandson Tomas was born in February. In September, grandson Nikolas was born. I was so sure Bush wouldn't be re-elected and I was really shocked and dismayed that he was.

2005: I seem to remember that this year was fairly good too. Bill graduated from high school and went on to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. We must have been doing OK for TB and I to be able to pay his expenses there. I used the last of Rich's insurance money to pay part of the expenses. I had a breast reduction in 2005 and what a difference that's made in my life! It was the first time I saw my parents in many years--the last time I'd seen them was before we moved to NY in 1999. I'd been estranged from them off and on since 1987. It was really good to be reunited with my brother too!

2006: Tomas was into an early intervention program because he'd been diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) which is on the autistic spectrum. What a difference that made in his development. He'd changed from the normally developing sweet baby boy we remembered from age 13 months in just 6 months to a child that wasn't talking and was so frustrated he could only tantrum. Thank God for early intervention and then the preschool program with the school district! This was the year Heidi graduated from high school and Kristin graduated from middle school. At the end of the year, Bill had to leave RPI because he just wasn't doing well.

2007: The year started out well. We refinanced the house again but it turned out to be a big mistake--we just didn't know it then. TB and I took a wonderful vacation to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. I'm so glad we were able to go! He'd injured himself gardening and got progressively worse. By October, he was totally disabled and unable to work. We went through the rest of TB's annuity because there was no other income. It was a tough year but worse times were coming.

2008: We nearly lost our house to foreclosure. We tried to file for bankruptcy but hired a bad attorney. Literally in the nick of time, social security came through and began to pay disability income to TB. The first check was large enough so that we didn't lose the house. God blessed us.

We'd looked into weight loss surgery for both of us. TB especially needed the surgery because the pain in his back was so bad. He was scheduled to have a bypass but we had to cancel because we just had no money for the surgeon's fees. That was God looking after us, too, because we then went to Dr. Greenbaum and TB got the best bariatric surgery possible with the most skilled surgeon--a duodenal switch. That was in November.

President Obama was elected in November too and I felt like the country would head in a better direction now. It seemed like President Bush was "bailing out" everyone but us!

2009: The very best thing that happened this year was my duodenal switch surgery by Dr. Greenbaum. The surgery has saved our lives. Between us, TB and I have lost over three hundred pounds. I don't have the co-morbidities I had last year (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides). I am not ashamed to be seen in public. God has blessed us in many ways. Even though this is the hardest financial year ever, we still have a roof over our heads.

This year, my father died and we brought my mother here to live with us. I tried and we all tried to make her happy but she just wasn't. There was nothing I could do that would ever be good enough for her. I had a breakdown and was hospitalized and she returned to Maryland. Even though I tried to do the right thing, I still feel guilty. Now I'm working on all these ACOA issues that have resurfaced.

So ... I'm saying good riddance, 2009!

Be kinder and gentler, 2010!

1 comment:

Harry Spotter said...

We wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Joyous New Year!

Grace In Small Things

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