I am so glad that this year is ending. So glad.
There have been a few tough years in my life. 2012 was a doozy (at the end) and there are probably a few honourable mentions that could be made. But, 2014 takes the cake. Actually, it totally doesn’t deserve cake, cake is delicious and awesome and 2014 doesn’t deserve that. It takes the poop.
If I thought having my back go out at the end of January was bad, bad enough to go on for four months and require medications and medical interventions, it was nothing compared with the drama we went through when our old house in Tillsonburg was destroyed by tenants, both paying and squatting. Windows were broken, walls were spray painted and shot up, yes, SHOT full of holes. We had a homeless guy living there and there were drugs and alcohol going on there all the time. The police knew the address well. Our oldest daughter flew back and spent five weeks there this past summer kicking people out and cleaning and plastering and painting. Two months of full on stress.
By early August, our oldest had moved home again, our daughter was back and things started to settle down a little bit. We had an amazing visit from Shawn’s oldest and dearest friend and we figured, hey, so the house thing was bad and we’re definitely going to have to take a loss on it, but in the long run, we’re all here, we’re all okay and that’s what matters.
Our whole world changed. Shawn technically died for nearly 45 minutes. (I used to think it was shorter but recently heard from the doctor official numbers). I stood in the room and watched the love of my life get shocked, intubated, compression’s performed on him. It was terrifying. And then his heart stopped again. And again. 17 days he was in the hospital and our family changed again. When he got the okay that he would make it, Keisha took a lifeline that was presented to her and moved on to live her new adult life. We all had to make changes. Shortly after Shawn came home we had to say goodbye to our oldest dog, Keira. It was all almost too much.
We have learned so much. Life is SO short. I think that was made abundantly clear. Our twentieth anniversary is coming up soon and for a long time, Shawn and I had talked about taking a trip to Italy together. Or going back to Ireland to the south. We won’t be doing that now. But, we have a better idea. One night in the hospital, after Shawn was out of the coma, when he was able to sit up and talk more, we had a few hours alone. He looked at me and took my hand and told me that he loved me. All of me. This in itself is something and I teared up quite a bit. Lord knows I have put that poor man through the wringer. I can be selfish, needy, dismissive and I have hurt him a lot over the years. He waved it away with his hand. To him, in that moment, the negatives didn’t matter. He took my hand.
Remember when we got married? he asked me.
Till death do us part, he said.
Now he was tearing up.
We cried together for a few minutes. Then, Shawn told me that he wanted to marry me again. He asked me to please be his bride once more.
It was the single most romantic moment in my life.
20 years in February, and we’re going to do it again.
I have learned many things in my life and it feels like I’m always learning something new from my experiences, which is, I believe, the point of the whole journey round the sun in the first place. Now that I’m almost 40 I’m starting to learn some of the best lessons yet. Hang on to the ones you love and tell them, every day (and mean it) that you love them. Be okay with saying no when there is too much on your plate. Be healthy. Take care of yourself, because chances are there are many people who’d like to see you stick around. Stop being negative, stop judging and stay away from people who drag you down those roads all the time. Stand up for yourself and what (and who) you believe in.
2014, you were a rat bastard thorn in my side, but, you brought out some interesting lessons. Consider me taught. Now kindly feck off.
No “resolutions” for 2015. Not for me. Just the knowledge that we all survived it together and we’re going to clasp our hands and keep on surviving.