Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tuesday's Tears - 2010: The Valleys

Now I chuckle as I look back at how we perceived 2009  and how that influenced what we expected in 2010.  I think I thought the lessons from 2009 were over - but 2010 brought lessons of their own.  2009 was primarily characterized by our struggle with infertility - in 2010 we struggled with one difficult life event after another.  Today I can smile again, and I'm starting to feel like I'm catching up a bit on life.  But it was a very difficult time last year that, looking back, I'm frankly surprised we made it through.  Hopefully, as it is to me, this will turn out to be like the footprints poem.  With real-life examples. 
  • January - 2010 started out with promise.  Though I was slammed with work and we still had so many unanswered questions about our future, I felt good, like 2010 was going to be an upturn from 2009.  My grandmother died a few days before our homestudy, which coincidentally was only 1 week after the fallout related to this post.  January had a lot of turmoil, but we still felt pretty excited about things to come.
  • February - Proceeded as normal - School was rough, waiting for answers on kiddos and house purchase was on our mind, but for the most part things were good. 
  • March - GREAT!  Though we went back and forth several times on whether to buy our new house, we received our bonuses which provided us with a good sum of money, the same day we received word that our license went through, which was the same day we had planned a date to see the Black Eyed Peas.  It was a good celebration despite my husband's headache.  7 days later we had our first CPU call for our first foster kids - we welcomed Bobby & Lizzy into our home on 3/25.
  • April - Another great month - though we waivered a bit on weather or not to proceed with purchasing our new house, we made our final decision to go ahead with the purchase toward the end of the month.  The next day I was given a raise to cover the increased mortgage price.  A few days later (in May) we were introduced to our future tenents. 
  • May - And this is where things fell apart: 
    • First week of May - barely slept - school was hard to keep up with.  I was moved to lead a new team at work which was responsible for a major project.  No time for slacking.
    • Second week of May - Finished school and thought I was going to be spending time packing.  As it turns out, that wasn't the case.  Spent the week helping the husband fix the ductwork that had been torn to shreds by a stinky mother bird and her disgustingly stinky babies.
    • Third week of May - Closed on our new home - we were trying to get in ASAP so that our tenent could move into our old home - she was on a tight timeframe and so were we.  Apparently the sellers weren't - even though we closed at 3pm on Thursday they still weren't out at 8:30pm.  Thankfully the friends/family we had lined up to help us stayed that long and got everything packed and moved from one house to the other.  Spent all day Friday moving in as much as we could with my sister and my best friend while our kids ran around like crazy.  I didn't know it but that would be bittersweet.
    • Fourth week of May -
      • Monday - arranged to take the kids swimming (3 by myself?  I was crazy) but forgot the swim diapers.  Stopped at CVS to pick some up.  Thank God.  My best friend was there at the minute clinic with her son - that would be the last time I saw her alive. 
      • Friday - Worked from home in the morning - the kids' caseworker was supposed to come for a visit.  She never made it (went to the other house instead)...after waiting long enough I went upstairs to say goodbye to my hubby for the trip into the office.  Decided to take an empty box downstairs to be helpful.  Didn't realize there were two steps there - completely broke my ankle and tore apart all the tendons and ligaments.  Got put in a half-leg hard boot/brace that would stay with me for 9 weeks.
      • Saturday - Was a good day, though its hard to do much unpacking and organizing when you can't walk and you have a 1, 2, and 3 year old.
      • Sunday - Went to church as normal - was sharing with folks who saw my injury what happened.  We were serving in the nursery. Shortly after service started my husband got a bad call.  My best friend Stephanie - the 35 year old single mother of my son's best friend - was dead.  We immediately left church and had such wonderful support.  Dropped the kids off with my sister while we went to her apartment - waited with her family for the coroner to be done - went inside and kissed her goodbye - prayed with her family - kept her son out of sight while they took her away.  While we were waiting we received a call that my husbands grandfather had just passed away.  2 hours after my best friend.  J called in sick to work.  Thankfully we had friends already planned to bring a meal to us with the new house and broken foot.  It became all that much more helpful.
      • Monday - Memorial Day - how appropriate.  I think we went swimming.  J decided to try to go back to work.  Less than 10 minutes later he called me - our car had completely broken down - stopped working.  I remember going to Sonic to get him a drink - it was hot - but I don't remember how we got the car fixed to get home - hmm.
  • June - And the saga continues...
      • Tuesday - I decided to go back to work.  Was already cried out - or so I thought.  As I sat down at my desk I received a call from the kids case worker.  The kids were going home in 7 days - to their grandparents - who had given them up originally.  And the tears fell.
      • Wednesday - My mom came in for a regularly scheduled visit.  My husband flew out to California to go to his grandfathers funeral leaving me with the 3 kids.  And a destroyed ankle.
      • Thursday - The funeral services for my friend.  In her casket was a picture of our sons playing baseball together.  Had a good cry but was really unable to grieve her loss.  More about that later, but partly as you can imagine there was just too much at once.
      • Friday - Tuesday - Somewhat back to normal.  J came home one of the days.  I went back to work (which, by the way, was a mess - remember one of my biggest projects ever - new team)
      • Wednesday - Took the day off to have a going away party for our kiddos.  It was a great time.  As we got their stuff ready my son came to me and said "mommy, if I have to go now, I will" - so brave.  I let my mom handle the foster kids and took him aside.  Said goodbye and breathed a sigh of relief.
      • Thursday & Friday - Spent some time with the family.  Tried to catch up on work.  Missed the deadline to take a few classes over the summer.  Forgot to go online to pay the bill.
      • Saturday - Mom was going home.  Took her to the movies - saw The Karate Kid - the new one.  During the movie my dad kept calling my mom - he was on a motorcycle ride up the coast with his brother and had a good story to tell - I jokingly told her I couldn't handle any more bad news.  We ate, gathered up her things, and headed to the airport, my sister and I with our kiddos.  Our husbands were working.  I think.  We dropped mom off at the airport, said our goodbyes and left.  We had driven to the galleria, about half way home, when mom called.  Dad was in an accident.  Major head injuries.  Airlifted to the trauma center.  No more word.  She was headed on the first plane out - trying to get there - had to stop in Vegas.  Didn't go home.  Drove us to the airport - had my son and my purse - tried to get flights out - it was a struggle - the inlaws helped but it was a major struggle.  My sister and her family went home to pick up her husband and were headed out by car to California.  They were out of the DFW area before I was.  The hospital couldn't tell us anything without my mom's permission.  She was in the air.  They did let us know he was alive but couldn't say much more.
      • Spent the next 48 hours with no sleep - maybe 2 hours or so.  I was still in the boot.  Spent the next week in California until my dad healed enough to go home from the hospital.  Big fight.  Straw that broke the camels back for everyone.  Went home as planned - drove 24 hours straight with the hubby back home.  Where life was anything but normal.
  • July - December  Recovery.  Added two infants to our home.  Separately.  Wore the boot for 9 weeks total.  Dad went back to work after about 6 weeks.  Wore a modified boot for much longer.  Brother was in an accident and totaled the 69 camaro they'd been working on for 10+ years.  Weeks after he got it registered and insured.  Threats of kids going home.  Threats at work.  My own threats of quitting school with 1 semester to go. 
Back in context - the majority of what I wrote happened in the span of 2 weeks, starting with my ankle and ending with my dad's accident.


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