Nice to See You Old Friend

26Nov12

Wow, it’s been awhile since I posted. A lot has changed in the past 2 months that have kept me from being here. I guess the only way to do this is in a list

Home
The apartment is starting to come together! We have new pictures on the wall, our dog is starting to get used to the new space, and it’s really feeling like home. As apprehensive as I was before, I really love this place. We are still missing some bookshelves for our movies and a towel rack in the bathroom, but slow and steady. The next big purchase is going to be a TV for the living room, but we are taking our time with that and hoping for the best deal. We are looking for at least a 42″ flat screen so if anyone knows a great deal let us know! We tried Black Friday and it royally blew up in our face (thanks Best Buy for your deception). Never ever again will I be one of the crazies out on Black Friday. We are starting to decorate for Christmas, which is a feat all on its own. Trying to meld two family traditions and making it your own is definitely an experience. This is our first real Christmas together (J isn’t going back to Missouri this year) and I am so excited for what we come up with. The realization of being away from family never really hit me until this year. I am very lucky and grateful that my parents are an hour away and there is never a question of where the holidays are going to be. With J’s family being in Missouri, it’s a lot harder for him to see them. He is always welcome to my parent’s, but I never understood how much is missed in your own traditions and way of spending the holidays. This is the first year he won’ be going back for Christmas and I know it’s really hard for him.I really want to try to bring as much of J’s traditions into our home so he won’t feel like he’s missing out on everything.

Work
All my work trips are done for the year! As much fun as they were, I’m glad to have my feet on solid ground again and the suitcase can officially be put back in the closet. With so many things going on, it’s hard when you are traveling every other week. I am very grateful for the opportunities and can’t wait for more, but I am glad to be home again. I have decided to work towards my CMP and I am excited to get everything started with that.

Birthday
I turned 25 on November 19 this year. My sweet boyfriend and amazing best friend threw me a surprise party and I could not love them any more! That weekend, I had just gotten back from a work trip in Chicago, and was not feeling like organizing a party and the weekend after was Thanksgiving. So, I decided to just do nothing, which felt great since we have been running around every weekend. J took me out for the day for a movie and lunch (ps go see Argo) and we headed home for what I thought was a quiet night in. Little did I know, everyone I loved was waiting for us at our apartment. It was, hands down, the best birthday in my short 25 years. It was a blast and I could not ask for better friends. I anxiously await what 25 has in store for me. Reflecting on the past year wasn’t easy – there have been a lot of downs with some slight ups. I’ve trying really hard to appreciate what I have and not stress about what I want or how things should be. It’s a life-long lesson, but making small strides.

Celebrating Life and Mourning Death
On November 16, I lost someone very close to me. While not related by blood, they are part of my family and it hurts thinking I will never see Mr. T again. Our paths crossed 22 years ago when my mother started working for the family as their housekeeper/nanny. They welcomed us into our homes from the start – working with my mom so she could bring me and my sister with her to work, inviting us to their beach house over the summer, confiding in my parents when they needed help and vice versa. 12 years ago, Mr. T was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It is an ugly disease my friends. For half my life, I watched a man who was so active and independent slowly lose the ability to do his favorite things. Throughout it all, he never lost his sharp mind or wonderful outlook on life. 2 years ago, when my dad lost his job, they asked if he wanted to help Mr. T with the things he was no longer able to do on his own. The two of them formed a friendship beyond anyone’s imagination. My family leaned on them as they leaned on us. About a month ago, Mr. T broke his hip. The break turned into an infection and, coupled with the Parkinson’s, he never recovered. The last 2 weeks of his life were the most harrowing. We thought we had lost him multiple times, but no one knew just how much of a fighter he really was. The doctors told them there was nothing more they could do, and he was moved to a hospice to pass in peace. He was able to tell his family he loved them one last time and went peacefully with his family beside him. It is all still so painful, and as I write this, the tears cannot help but form. His memorial services was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. So many of his friends and family came to share their memories. If there was one thing he was, he was loved. And that is how he chose to live his life – nothing mattered if you didn’t love.

“I can think of nothing more wondrous than loving and being loved, and nothing more tragic than living as though love doesn’t matter” – Mr. T’s favorite quote

I think that does it for now. The holidays are officially underway. Cherish the time with loved ones!

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