Friday, December 31, 2010

a look back {a raw post}

As I was driving to work, watching the beautiful Colorado sunrise, one cold December morning I started to reflect back on the year of 2010. The quote above somehow seems to sum it all up. As I neared the curve that always reminds me of my beloved pup (I’ll explain more in a minute) I realized that 2010 had been a very hard year.

As 2010 rang in I was sure we had just closed the door on a very difficult year. Eric had found a job that he really liked, our finances were going towards the positive side again, I had been blessed with some amazing opportunities at my job, Kate’s ear infections seemed to have disappeared. 2010 was going to be a great year.

Then I discovered a lump in my beloved dog’s shoulder/neck area. I truly hate to admit this but I brushed it off. She was older and I thought it was really a fatty tumor. I didn’t want to overreact and I didn’t want to put her through any type of surgery that would cause her unneeded pain. I thought to myself I’ll keep an eye on it and if it gets worse I’ll do something.
And then there was the Landrover. It was overheating a lot and we were taking it in to the shop a lot.Minor things were fixed and we were told the problem was solved. Call us naive.

There was also the fact that Kate was still sick a lot. We were still at the doctor’s office a lot. Within the first six months of the New Year Kate had three chest x-rays, RSV once, and Pneumonia twice. At times I felt like a crazy mother always dragging my kid to the doctor to find some type of answer. Frustrated because I thought the tubes would make everything better. Praying for my little girl just to be better, wishing to go just one month without having to visit the doctor.

Back to the curve that reminds me of my dear Riley… I kept an eye on Riley’s tumors they didn’t seem to be growing at an alarming rate and few more had cropped up. They were not big and she seemed fine…her normal, very vocal self. Then one day I noticed that Riley looked extremely skinny. I started feeling all over her body and found an extremely large tumor in Riley’s groin area. I was so mad at myself for not taking her to the doctor. So angry and upset at life that my beloved sidekick’s final days were here.

I could barely get the words out when I called the vet to schedule her appointment. The day came and we were all ready for our final good-bye. But then we got a nice surprise… Riley was granted more time. Because her temperament, demeanor, and zest for life was still strong the vet felt now was not Riley’s time. We took her home and began a steroid treatment. And the treatment worked…

While Riley’s life seemed to be spared we received an e-mail that Eric’s cousin was dying from cancer and his final days were near. It rocked us to the core. It made us question so much. It made us angry. Where was the “magic” treatment for Bobby? Why? Why? Why? Bobby passed away in late March surround by his family and friends.

At the same time we noticed the Riley’s treatments were not as effective as they had been to start. The tumors started growing back. Eric and I decided when she stopped eating then it would be time. But Riley being Riley never stopped eating. But she did let me know it was time.
When Bobby passed I asked him to show us a sign that he was okay, that he was no longer in pain. On my way to visit his mom, dad, and several other family members the day after he passed away I saw two eagles soaring in the air. I knew that was my sign. He was free from the pain. He was soaring! When Riley passed I asked her as well to show me a sign that she was okay. I don’t recall exactly when but shortly after Riley passed away I came around the curve on my way to work and there were two eagles soaring in the air. My sign! My baby girl was free! (We often say she is in heaven playing ball with Bobby or trying to help Bobby fish but really just scaring all the fish.) Almost daily I still think about Riley as I come around that curve. And I am always searching the skies for eagles soaring.
Oh and that Landrover…
little did I know when I watched my Landrover leave on a tow truck one cold, rainy, spring day would be the last time I would see my Landrover. Several days after the Landrover was towed away we found out the engine had blown up. There was a leak in the engine… one that was never found each time we had brought it in the times before. Honestly this was my breaking point. The Landrover was my first new car. It was the first car I paid for from beginning to end. We had just paid it off a year ago and we were hoping to keep it at least another four years… if not more. I bitterly and slowly pulled myself together and moved forward. We do have a new car and another car payment. I can’t say I love my car but it is a good car and gets me from point a to point b and that’s what truly matters.
In regards to sweet Kate she was diagnosed with asthma in June. She began a daily steroid treatment and that has helped beyond words. My prayers were answered… she did not return to the doctor with an illness until September. When she is sick back to back I still question things and I still wish I had a kiddo that only needed to be seen once or twice a year. But at the same time I wouldn’t change the journey we have taken with her.

I cannot and will not stand here and say my year is worse than anyone else’s. I have had friends’ parents die or go through major life changing illnesses. I have family and friends loose a child. I have watched and see relationships and marriages fall apart. I know I am blessed and I know some would much rather take my problems and trade them for theirs.

But also know this past year I entered on the darkest places in my life. Not to point of wanted to walk away from my life but I had a hard time finding a reason to hold my head up high. (My true saving grace is Kate. It can be really hard not to smile or laugh when she is around.) When my days were really dark I would push all my sadness on to missing Riley. Sort of blaming the one steady thing in my life since becoming a real grown up was gone so how could I cope and carry and on. When I would struggle to find a way to make our ends meet I would curse the car in the driveway and become very bitter about the one that was towed away. I found myself giving up all that I loved to do. I was no longer taking a crazy amount of pictures. I have hardly touched my blog. I can’t seem to find the time to read some of my favorite blogs or magazines. I have stopped watching TV. Going shopping began to seem like more of a chore. I have completely lost myself. It has been a slow process… one that I almost didn’t notice until I looked back and really started to reflect. The darkness still hangs on me most days. I think the road back to myself and back to the light will be just as long as road I took to get to this place. And honestly I don’t even know where to start. I am always saying "one foot in front of the other" but those steps are merely to survive… they are not changing anything.

I am broken. I am hurt. I am lost. I don't want to be in this place anymore. I want to close the door on a very hard year.

Once the door is closed I am not sure which step I will take. I want to find my way back to things I love. I want to blog more. I want to read more. I plan to take at least one photograph a day. I want to keep my heart open. I want to be less bitter. I want to truly smile more. I want to develop deeper relationships with those who have stood by, supported, and lifted me up. I want the daily ache in my heart to go away. I want to begin to live my life again...
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  1. Love you so much friend! I AM SO thankful that God brought us into each others lives. You are such a blessing to me. Thank you for being so real. I hope and pray 2011 is everything you hoped for and much much much more. Love you!!

  2. I know where you are coming from with this post in so so many ways! I am praying for you and pray that we both can close the door and walk through a new and brighter one. :)


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