I am enjoying the various 2014 recaps on other blogs. Sadly, I have no such aspirations here. Had I thought about it sooner or earlier in the year I might have kept better track. But honestly, our lives are pretty simple and straightforward, not a lot of big impacts and dramas/traumas that last longer than few hours or at worst, a few days. Our year was a good one, because I do not want to be sitting here, miserable, reflecting on the downsides of life.
We did lose M’s father this year, and while estranged for several, it’s a significant loss and M still grieves. We also gained a new baby of sorts, in my young friend’s successful pregnancy and subsequent adoption of baby Joseph. It has been an eye-opening experience to observe and participate in, and I get tearful reflecting on how strong and how determined my friend is to do the right thing. In the months that have passed she has absolutely blossomed – in her studies, in her jobs, in her personal relationships. While not her mother or even blood relation, we could not be prouder of the woman she is becoming.
Unfortunately some of our other long-term friendships ended this year. Sometimes you just have to let go, despite the long history and so many good memories. I am thankful for our many friends, some who have been part of my life since childhood, but when behaviors change and angry bitterness becomes the new normal … well, it is unhealthy for me. I tried reasoning, I tried strident arguing, I tried distance, and finally, after all else failed, I simply separated completely. This was with two different couples, and I grieve these losses yet know it is for the best.
We welcomed K with her unique, bright spirit into the family fold. Generally speaking, if my children are happy with their choices in partners I tend to be happy as well, but K is a sweet and caring young woman with a sparking personality that I love on her own merits, yet love even more for how much she cares for my son and he for her. C and A continue to thrive, and I am happy to observe and be part of that evolving relationship as well. Watching them grow as people as well as a couple has been a joyous experience. Even A’s parents, my future siblings in in-law-ship, have grown on me/us; they are definitely different than we are, yet have so many positive attributes that we enjoy.
Family dinners continued throughout the year, and in 2015 I hope to document them in photos and create a calendar for 2016. Had I thought about it sooner than December 2014 … well, I console myself that at least I did think about it before 2015 begins.
Our household also grew with the adoption of the 3 fluff buckets. M and I have always loved animals, but I could not imagine how our lives would alter after the trio of Maine Coons officially took us in as their source of food, comfort, and torment (via the vet visits). They are not overly affectionate beasts, yet in a dozen little ways they let us know they missed us when we returned after Christmas. I wish the adoption circumstances were different, in that I know our former neighbor is relatively miserable in assisted living, but I am pleased we were able and willing to take on this challenge. Our lives are enriched because of it.
For us, 2014 was a good and great year. M and I are still together, still kind of crazy in love after all these years. Empty nesting suits us, as did the hustle-bustle of child rearing and all that entails. The kids themselves have had different challenges this year – multiple moves for C and A, consolidating households for G and K, new furbabies adopted, furbabies lost, college graduation for A as well as new jobs for both A and for C. I’m pleased and proud of the way they have conducted themselves, that they bitch and moan and complain yet man-up/woman-up like adults and deal with it. I am so grateful to have the close relationships we do, for the meals and times together we have shared and enjoyed.
Finally, a special shout-out for my east coast bestie, who has had her own ups, downs, turnarounds in 2014 and weathered them with more grace than she will ever accept credit for.
It was a good year. Goodbye, 2014; thanks for the memories.