A Look Back at 2011

I've looked ahead and come up with some mamilutions. I've talked about my reading list for 2012.  I guess on this last day of 2011 I will do a recap.  Where do I begin? New Year's Eve 2010 found me at home with The Man and the frog princess.  I believe she was awakened by fireworks. I called mami who was at MD Anderson Cancer Institute. She was having a party over there and I couldn't help but be a little miffed that no one told me. I figured she'd be asleep.  I chatted with her a bit and then went to bed.

The next day two big things happened: my baby girl took her first steps and she said mama for the first time. The guilt over not being in the hospital was quenched a little because of that.  I started my new job the first week of the year.  Happy Ecstatic and eager to embark in a new adventure.

Mami passed away less than a month later.  I remember sitting in the drive thru as I had this big epiphany only days prior to her passing.  And of course, I remember that last day like it was yesterday.  The blogs I wrote giving the news to my readers and giving you an insight on who my mami was and how she shaped me.  There's no way around it. This year was definitely centered around the death of this larger-than-life figure not just in my life, but in the lives of so many.

I tried my best to adjust though to be honest, I don't think I've accomplished that. Life went on and I had to keep rolling with the punches.  No break. No time to stop.  The man and I broke up in April.  And, life had to go on.

So, when I was let go of my job and found myself needing to be hired again, I secretly took it as a sign from God that it was time to take a break, breathe and deal.

Though this year is filled with the unmistakeable gap my mother left behind, it's been filled with many good things. My frog princess is growing and healthy.  We did have a crazy time period with her, though.  She was diagnosed with febrile seizures in June after her first scary episode.  Since then, we have had to make some tough decisions and though I periodically deal with the PTSD that seeing your child in a seizure brings, I still think it's all good.

This New Year's Eve finds me back in my mother's house after seeing my dad struggle without his partner of 42 years.  I'm not a believer in coincidences. I was let go the week after I moved in.  Sitting here, I pray that the new year will bring me writing opportunities.  The ability to follow my passion because the one thing I've learned this year (again) is that the term success means something different than what most of us think.  Though life has been a struggle lately, I can say without a doubt that being at home and watching and helping my daughter flourish is one of the greatest gifts I've been given.  I revamped the blog (though I really couldn't afford it) and now have a services page that gives you a glimpse at some of the awesomeness I can provide.  Though pretty much anything writing-related, I can handle.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that somehow, things will work out so that I am able to work from home doing the thing that I am passionate about.

Speaking of passionate, my Christmas project was a big highlight of the season.  After the way that Olive Garden came through for me, I'm thinking that perhaps I can try and make this a year-long project and not just for the women and babies in the Dominican Republic.  I love helping people.  This year, however, has reminded me that, every once in a while, I need help myself.

Through a rollercoaster of emotions I am still so grateful for all I've been given.  For the opportunity to have had such an amazing mother and such a beautiful relationship with her. I'm grateful that things were good with us.  That she lived 1 Corinthians 13 to a tee.  I'm blessed that she was there when my child was born.  That she cared for her throughout the first year of her life.  I'm deeply thankful to the man who shifted what I thought would be a middle name to a first and thereby leaving me a child with my mother's name.  This year I have met some wonderful people through this thing that I do.  This ranting, this joking, this pouring out of my feelings.  Thank you for bringing me through some hard days.

I bid farewell to 2011 with a tad bit of sadness.  Because in the overwhelming sorrow of this year I also found unspeakable joy.  How has your year been?