I unashamedly have started this post the day before New Years Eve, because it has just been one of those years that takes a while to think about. It's been one of those years that makes you shudder, laugh, cry, celebrate, and mourn. It makes some things seem so very important and some things disappear into the dust of unimportance.
It's been a year of disasters and catastrophes, with some brief spells of sunshine... It's been a year of more no's than yes's: well, least that's how it feels to me. It's also been a year of births and deaths. 2008 has been rough, but well worth the ride.
Well, first to the deaths. It was Justin's family's year this year: 3 deaths within 4 months approximately. I felt for them, and their pain. I never really got to know any of these women: but I do know they were all very strong, and had all gone through great times of both sadness and joy in their lives. I mourn the fact that they won't be present in 2 weeks at our wedding, and that I never got to fully know them and their stories. A precious piece of history lost forever. I remember Aunt May, Grandma Kemp and Nana Kinghorn. 3 women who fought valiantly till the end. You will be missed.
As a side note to these deaths, there was also the death of Emilie from Lemmondrops: I only joined her journey towards the end, but her spirit shone through and touched me none the less. Rest in peace, you gorgeous and powerful woman. You touched so many lives and I am only sorry I didn't come across you sooner.
Leela, our first puppy passed away this year, too. I miss you, my beautiful brown-eyed girl. I hope you are happy wherever you are. You gave your Mummy and Daddy much joy and taught us many (much needed) lessons. We love you baby girl, and miss you. You too, Mumbles bird. I miss you calling to me in the morning and sitting on my shoulder chewing my earrings
There were many births this year too: mixed in with thoughts of what could have been: of what should have been. 2008 was not to be our year. But congratulations to all you women who achieved your goal this year and had that beautiful bouncing baby whom in some cases, you have waited years for. Enjoy your blessings: Nadia, Vickie, Miss E, Antigone (who is waiting till in the new year for her little one: but girl: you are due for some serious good stuff so I hope it comes your way!), Denise and all the most excellent blog women out there.
And there was my diagnosis: Crohn's Disease, and then following that, my operation. I won't deny that it shook me up more than a little, and made me appreciate everything so much more. When you are too sick to do anything, then a lot of things become more important: like family and enjoying ones self rather than fitting into others plans. And I guess nowhere is that more evident than in Justin's and I's plans to get married in the new year. If you have read my blog before, you know the story of the in-laws and the fuss they threw, before finally coming to the table, in some small, but no less significant ways. That situation too, made me infinitely more thankful for my own family: whilst being a most motley collection of individuals, they have supported me, cheered for me and loved me throughout all times in my life. I have always had their 100% support and love in my life and I am very grateful: love you guys!
And there was Justin, my rock. He held my hand when the pain got too great (caused by Crohn's disease). He would wake up with me in the middle of night and do whatever it took to ease the pain. He would be patient with me when I had lost patience with myself and my body. I don't like talking about "our" life as couple much on here (or in fact, anywhere but in our own own private space): but this much is true: Sweetheart, you made this year livable for me. Thanks for helping me cope when everything seemed unbeatable. When my head was telling me to give up, you forced me to push on and live. I hope I put as much hope and love into your year as you did mine. I love you, and I can't wait to become your wife.
Then, there was our search to become foster parents, something which, thanks to this disease and as simple as the numbers in our birthdate, has been postponed. DOCS: I simply say: How, on the one hand can you say that we would make excellent, top class, brilliant etc foster carers, only to say we can't because of our ages. How does that work? And that's all I have to say about that.
We moved this year too. We added to the menagerie of Charlie and Mumbles (both birds: we lost Mumbles a few weeks after moving in): Leela (hit by a car barely 6 months after we got her), Akria (girl dog no. 2), Sprinkles, and more recently, Sprinkles' kittens. I love my house, I love having a garden...even though I not thrilled with the "bitch down the back" as Justin and I have ever so loving dubbed her. Hey, you wouldn't like being spied at and having abuse yelled at you in your own backyard, when your minding your own business playing with the dog. Thank goodness for neighbours and friends like H & D: you guys made it all worthwhile.
As to 'daddy dearest': you may have applied for parole this year, but all of us put a stop to that. And even if you get out, you will be slapped with so many restraining orders, you won't have anywhere to go. Stop pulling shit, it's gotten old. (and as faar as I know he doesn't read this blog, so this paragraph is pretty pointless: but ahh well, that's my opinion and I am sticking to it).
A huge shout out the friends that 'made' this year: you guys know who you are. And thanks to the blogging community: I hope to get to know you guys better this year.
Farewell 2008: Welcome 2009. I hope you bring a fresh start and the fulfillment of more dreams. I hope it's better than this one. At this point, however, I would settle for a very neutral year: it doesn't need to be spectacular or special: just a year of peace, positivity and tranquility and I will be happy....
Love, hope and peace to all!
Jo (& Justin, Akira, Sprinkles, Charlie and Sprinkles' kittens)