Happy New Year all!
My cold seems to have rounded back on me with a vengeance. I spent most of the yesterday on the couch reading but made myself get up and go out last night. Stopped at Fries and Peanuts for a little Duke of Uke and some hugs and drinks with friends. Then we made our way to Escobar's with our friends Boo and Doug and Val and Bob. They always spend New Year's Eve together and we were tickled to be with them so I didn't want to miss it. As dinner wore on however I felt myself sinking and we ended up going home so I didn't get any of Val's gingerbread trifle that was waiting at Boo and Doug's house. Despite not feeling great it was a lovely way to spend the evening. I went to bed long before midnight although Owen woke me a few minutes after midnight to say Happy New Year and to give me some water and ibuprofen because he'd heard me coughing. Lord but I am lucky.
I'm still enjoying the memory of our spur of the moment trip to Evansville. I keep thinking about it because it seemed at one point that I would never be able to just impulsively go do something like that. I remember talking to someone when I was really in the thick of things with caring for my parents and my sister and asking her what she was doing for the holidays. She talked about how they didn't have any plans but might just take off somewhere. I was so envious. I wondered whether she knew how lucky she was to have that freedom. I doubt I did before things changed for us. I savor it now however, and know that as nice as it is, it would be far better to have loved ones still here tying me down. Different pleasures, different times.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the last few years is that things change. I know, that sounds so obvious. It's not obvious when you're in the middle of things though. When my father's Alzheimer's got worse....I'd scramble to solve the problems created by it and somehow think that we were then status quo. But then there's another change and another scramble. If I have any regrets with the way I cared for my mother it was that I should have realized how short her life would be and done whatever I could to make it comfortable. I kept thinking however that if we did this and this and this....then we could just keep on going. Because when you're in the midst of it you think it won't change.
I remember when Leo finally got on a bedtime schedule when he was a toddler. The child liked to go to bed at 6:30. I remember thinking to myself, "oh my god....I'm never going to go out after dark again." It makes me laugh now but it felt horrible at the time despite how damn cute that big headed toddler was.
Mike Auldridge died. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer about ten years ago and now he's gone. It's so easy to settle in and think that things won't change.
But they do.
However Ernie is happy and healthy (undetectable psa report on December 26) and the boys are good. We have our challenges but I savor all this because I know it will change......in good ways and bad ways mind you. It will just change. I am incredibly thankful that on the night of December 26, after spending the morning at the Cancer Center I could say, "Evansville? Well, hell, let's just go to Evansville." And I could spend the time with my three beautiful boys and we could laugh and irritate one another and drowse in the car as Ernie drove.
I haven't particularly looked back the last few New Year's Days....but if I do at all this year I know that this was a year to savor.
And the shape of things to come? Owen asked if he could try sitting in the driver's seat the other day. Looks pretty natural, doesn't he?