Friday, December 31, 2010

Blessings in 2011!

2010 has been an incredible year.  So many changes... so many blessings ... so many hard things.

As 2010 dawned, our family was separated - the two of us plus our oldest here, our youngest living in Ontario with her boyfriend's people.  That turned out to be a very bad situation and we made the decision to bring them back to PEI. 

They arrived back on the Island on Jan. 16, 2010 to stay with a friend of hers.  That living situation was short-lived and before three weeks had passed, they were without a place to stay.  As hubby and I had discussed this as a last resort, we opened our home to them.  They now live in our basement and share in the chores.  We are grateful to know where they are, and to be able to share family times with both of them.  His family is quite controlling so he has cut all ties with them, preferring our "laid-back" style.  (If only her boyfriend knew what I was like before he met me!)

January was also when Haiti had a major earthquake.  The whole world was affected, and people rallied to provide financial and service support.  Even our little island.  February 14 saw members of our church join together with others to do a benefit called "Love Haiti" which raised some $10,000 for earthquake relief, matched by the federal government because the tickets were sold prior to the deadline date.

I saw my doctor in March for a right shoulder problem which has been bothering me since a few months after my left shoulder surgery in 2007.  Overcompensating for my left shoulder left my right with lost range of motion.  He referred me to a specialist, whom I saw just a couple of weeks ago.  I will have an MRI sometime in June 2011 to see whether there is a tear in my rotator cuff or just osteoarthritis in my acromioclavicular joint (the one at the top of the shoulder at the tip of the collarbone).  We'll see what transpires next year.

March also saw our youngest daughter's boyfriend get his wisdom teeth out.  It was such a relief for him to be free of pain.

The winter/spring saw both myself and our oldest going to the chiropractor, me for my lower back and her for her neck.  X-rays showed that she has cervical spondylolisthesis (a slippage of the vertebrae) at C5 to C7, caused by a fall when she was two years old.  It might explain the cause of all those basilar artery migraines she had as a child because the basilar artery goes right through that spot in the spine. She was given a device, which she uses at home, to strengthen her neck muscles and gently push the vertebrae back into a better position. She has since gotten some normal curvature back into her neck.  

In May, my hubby and I went to Halifax so I could undergo 4 days of testing to get a diagnosis regarding my chemical sensitivities.  I needed the diagnosis so that my employer could accommodate my needs at work.  After an interesting week there, and a wait of about 2 months, I finally had my diagnosis and recommendations from the specialist I saw.  I do have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.  It isn't a figment of my imagination.  And there are things I can do to lessen the effects of this illness.  I've been doing those things ever since, some of them daily, others off and on.

On June 7th, my oldest brother Skip passed away.  A couple of hours before his death, his youngest daughter moved the date of her wedding up and had it at the hospital so he could give away his little girl.  The loss has been such a wrenching one, especially for his widow and orphans - and for my mother.  

The next day I started this blog.  Blogging has really allowed me to explore this journey of recovery I'm on, and it's been a great vehicle to touch people who I might not otherwise have touched, develop friendships with people who really care, and get me in touch with what's really going on inside my spirit.

Three animal deaths in the next four months dealt us body-blow after body-blow. One of these was a rather slow one - after a stroke and the hope of recovery for the first one to pass away.  I pay homage to Tsuri - to her brave and tenacious spirit, to Ceçania her cage-mate left behind, whose inquisitive nature stayed with her until nearly the end, and to Cody the cat, who did his best to let us know how much we were loved and appreciated.  

September saw us take our first trip as a family to see my mom in about 6 years; our youngest had stayed away for her own reasons - and Mom celebrated with a blueberry cheesecake.  Mom returned the visit in November - but left the cheesecake home (haha).

September also saw our oldest, having decided only in August to go to college, attend her first classes at Eastern College.  She is doing so very well, enjoys her classes and plans to graduate in December 2011, as a certified Executive Assistant.  Her social life has blossomed as well, and we are so pleased to hear about her adventures.  It is like she is emerging from a long, dark tunnel into the light of day.  It is wonderful to watch.

In November we went as a couple to a spiritual retreat and stayed away for 2 nights.  What an experience!  There we met some amazing people, deepened existing friendships and were challenged by the facilitators to accept forgiveness and to forgive - God, ourselves, and others.  We are so looking forward to doing that again next fall.  It was such a needed break.

Which brings us to today.  All I can do, in keeping with my (up until now, well-hidden) Irish roots, is offer you an Irish blessing for 2011.


  1. Wow, what a recap. It's amazing how much changes in one year... and yet how much stays the same!

    I would struggle to remember things like you do. I'm not very good at details (dates, etc.)

    Have a blessed 2011 :)

  2. Neither am I, truly. Every year on Dec 31 I take the year's calendar down, and transfer important dates to the next year's calendar. Notations I've made of appointments, etc., correlated with emails I've sent, provide a chronology of the past year. Births, deaths, and weddings make that list too.