We’re finally coming to the end of one of the roughest years of my life. Billy’s battle with cancer coincided with Mom’s battle with living. So many times everything hit at once. Like the day we took a rare trip together to the farm and returned to Mom’s ministroke and all the horrors that followed, or the day we finally got Billy a hospital bed after a two-hour wait, and less than an hour later, Mom fell and had to go to the ER. Or the times I couldn’t get either of them to eat. Or praying through Billy’s fear of dying and Mom’s fear she won’t. Or the threat I’d have both of them on hospice at the same time. Days of taking the brunt of their frustrations expressed in hurtful comments and hurt-filled cries. I never want to go through this again.
Now that 2023 is in sight, things are a little better. Billy’s cancer treatment and surgery were successful, and he’s gaining his weight back. Mom has come to terms with the fact that the doctor was wrong in how long she has to live. She’s still anxious to go Home, but she’s handling it better that the Lord hasn’t called her yet. The worst thing that happened in the final quarter of 2022 is that our calico, Molly, got out a few hours before the freeze and never came home. The freeze hit Thursday afternoon, and today is Monday, and I can’t find her anywhere. My prayer is that someone has her; my fear is that no one does.
My prayer is that 2023 will be better. Yes, I expect to lose my mother, but that would be a gift to both of us. It is so hard to see her in pain, to watch her get confused, and see her memory lapse so badly. God be praised that her mind is still basically good. She doesn’t have any form of dementia other than what comes with just being 90. But the fear is always there. The fear that she’ll fall from this dance along the edge, and I’ll lose her while she’s still here. I’m not sure I could bear that. I’m better with the thought of her going on to Heaven.
We’ve had one thing after another hit us since Billy’s retirement in 2019, and honestly, we don’t have a clue what ordinary days during retirement are going to look like. But I’m hoping 2023 will finally settle enough for us to find out. We had plans and hopes, and believe me, the stuff that’s been going on wasn’t on the list.
Among the good things of 2022 were the times with family and friends. I have some amazing friends whom God uses to call me just when I need them. They’ve stood by me through this ridiculous year, and I’m so thankful for them.
Molly may be gone, but she left us with two of her kittens, Tuck and Susy. They’re still in training on how to behave as house cats, but they’re fun and loving and I’m so thankful to have them.
And I’m thankful to have my husband and my mom as we face a new adventure in a new year. I don’t know whether I’ll get to go back to writing, but I know I’ll be reading everything I can get my hands on. And I’ll still be an editor. I’m thankful for that. My prayer is for more time with family and friends. After all, they’re what life is all about.
So, as we slip into the new year, I have some high hopes and old, delayed dreams. It’s going to be a great year.
God bless you throughout 2023 with the love of family and friends and with His presence if things get rough. Believe me, His help is real and His presence is almost tangible during hard times. I know this from experience.