An Unexpected Year

It’s been awhile. I started this blog looking forward to running my first marathon and working through my first semester at Baldwin Wallace. So much has happened in the past few months, and it’s past time for an update.

My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2018, and began treatment at the beginning of this year. At first, things were going well. He came through the first few treatments with few side effects. But as time went on, and chemo drugs built up and played havoc with his MS, which he had had for years, his body became weaker. More time was spent in hospitals and rehab centers, and my mom became a full time caretaker as well. His health declined throughout the month of May, and on June 17, my dad passed away at the age of 68. He would have been 69 on December 4.

All of this seemed to happen so quickly. Within a week, our house was filled with family, a funeral planned and carried out, stories and memories shared over food and drinks.

But life moved on, even though it seemed as though it shouldn’t somehow. Our out-of-town family members went home, though of course they have continued to call and offered so much support. I am blessed with a close knit family, both far and near.

Eventually I had to return to work, and as I was already enrolled for 7 credit hours worth of summer classes as well, the summer months went by in a blur. I somehow passed both of my classes with A’s. The marathon training, however, had ground to a halt. I had managed to keep my grades up while working full time, but I just didn’t have a drop of energy or time left for training. It saddened me to have to let it go, but something had to give, and it couldn’t be work or school.

Near the end of the summer, more bad news hit our family. My Uncle Paul, who lives in Kansas and been here with my Aunt Patty for dad’s funeral, passed away. In not quite three months’ time, both my mom and her older sister had lost their husbands.

All of this has brought up thoughts about my own mortality and that of my other family members. I started questioning my own direction in life, wishing I’d made different choices and wondering what the next steps should be. I’ve been depressed, I’ve been angry, I’ve been emotional. I’ve had anxiety. I keep pushing through because I know life has to go on, but I still sometimes feel like a runaway train. One of the main anchors to my life, one of the people who kept me grounded, is no longer here, and that is something I may never get used to. Sometimes I feel like a feather in the wind, to borrow an image from Forrest Gump. Floating along with no particular direction.

I’m still doing my best in school. I recently picked up a new job that will fit my school schedule and eventually offer opportunity for advancement, and I’m grateful for that. I guess that is kind of a direction after all. And I haven’t given up on the marathon yet! I just recently started working my way back into running, and I still hope to be able to check that marathon off my bucket list. I know would never forgive myself if I let it go.

So while life has moved on, sometimes without my full presence, I admit, it will never be just as was. There will be an empty seat this Christmas that no one else will ever fill, and we will do our best to remember the happy times and maybe even try to create new ones. I will be back to blogging, creating new plans for a new and very different year.

Wishing you all a blessed week, and you’ll be hearing from me soon. Thanks for sticking with me!

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