Monday, January 07, 2008

2007 in review

Warning. This didn't end up fulling going the direction I wanted it to, but who cares. It's really freaking long and I don't expect anyone to read it. I'm not sure if it "helped" me to go through this step by step seeing as I've been sitting her crying and crying for the last 40 minutes. But the non-existent therapist in me says it's good to cry, it's okay to grieve.

The year started off okay. I had just been hired by my clinical site to work when needed, which was very exciting. About 10 days in to the year, the other student from my school at my site was kicked out of the program for a few reasons, but basically HIPPA violations. And for being a dumb ass about it. As it got closer to graduation, I got more and more excited to be almost done with school!

In the month of March I finished my internship, graduated from my program, passed my test with a 91, placed an offer on our (now) house, and found out that Gina's cancer was back.

In April I began working at sites other than AGH, often time 50+ hours a week. Gina, Margo and Claire came for a 2 week visit from England, and Sarah, Dacian and William came out from DC. It was the first time the 5 of us siblings had been together in quite some time, but thankfully not the last. We also found out that Gina's cancer had metastasized to her liver and stomach.

May was more of the same-lots of work, and lots of stressing about our house. We had looked at other houses due to the previous owner not disclosing his financial problems and it being held up in court. Nothing was jumping out, so we held out for this one. We also switched lenders, which was a very good decision.

Towards the end of May, Sarah and William came out for a visit to celebrate Jacob's 6th birthday. On Jacob's birthday Richard, Sarah, Cara, Tom, Jacob, Clara, William and myself went to the Oregon Zoo to celebrate. But before that I had an interview at my current hospital. It turned out to be a very good day.

June brought us Clara's 4th birthday, Jacob's kindergarten graduation, the closing on our new house, and the start of my new job. It also brought news that Gina's cancer was worse than previously thought, and a rushed trip to England to help her try to sort her things by my dad and little sister. At this point I was again working far too many hours, usually around 55-60.

We moved into our house the weekend of the 4th of July. It was a shitty moving day, but thanks to a couple of good friends, and lots of trips in Tom's work truck due to Budget trucks being complete fuckheads, we made it. (6 months later our garage is still full of boxes, but whatever...)

The second weekend in July brought Gina and Claire back from England. We all knew that this would be her last trip here, though she felt in her heart that she would be returning to England, as she wanted to be with Margo in her final days. A week later, Mike brought Margo out for what was going to be a 6 week visit. We made Margo "just one of the kids" and took her to birthday parties, Montessori school, and then to daycare with my 2 kids.

Once August rolled around, Sarah and William came out to visit again. This time they were here for about 2 weeks and got to stay at our house instead of a hotel or the craziness of my parents house. We celebrated my mom's birthday, William's 3rd birthday, and Sarah's 29th birthday. It was apparent to all of us, that Gina was going down hill. She was such a fighter though, and managed to go to 2 concerts, Modest Mouse up in Troutdale, and The Flaming Lips in September.

It was decided that Margo would stay until Gina passed away. We thought it was almost time near the end of August so Mike came out for a few days, but went back home. At this point I was spending all of my free time up at my parents house to be with Gina. I was either working or there, or with my family, though I feel like they were neglected by me during this time.

Jacob started 1st grade at the beginning of September, and Clara started back at the Montessori school. Margo still went to Miss Tiffany's house everyday, and though she loves her cousins, I think she enjoyed having near 1 on 1 time for 4-5 hours almost every day. Miss Tiffany officially taught Jacob, Clara, and Margo all to read.

Even though each day was worse than the one before, Gina really started to go downhill in September. She eventually was okay with using a wheelchair all of the time, and the portable commode. Soon the hospital bed took up residence in the middle of the living room. It was so hard to watch.

It was nice to meet quite a few of Gina's old friends from high school and jr college, and to also see my family alot. Even though I was seeing my children less, I got to spend alot of time with Gina, Claire, Rich, Cara, my parents, and my aunts.

The last week was the hardest. Not only did my parents 31 wedding anniversary fall during that week, but Gina and Claire's 2 year commitment anniversary as well. Luckily we had a long time family friend who had been a hospice nurse, and recently decided to get back into the field again, come and help out all day every day. Laurie was such a blessing during that final week, we couldn't have done it all without her.

The last time Gina told Clara was how pretty she was, and that she was a good girl. The last thing she told me was that she loved me. That was the last thing I told her as well.

She passed away on Oct 4th right about 7pm.

October 8th was my 27th birthday. October 9th Richard took Margo back to England to be with her dad, and Sarah and Daci arrived from DC. October 11th we had Gina's graveside service. She wanted to be cremated, and I couldn't believe how small the box they use is. October 13th my parents held an open house/gathering of friends and family. Lots of Gina's friends from high school came, as did many of my parents old friends from when we lived in Eugene who knew Gina from when she was a little girl until she moved to California in her 20's.

October 22 Cara turned 25 and finally got a job. Shortly after that Claire went back to England with my mom to try to pack up Gina's things and sort through them.

In November I took the kids to Florida to meet my grandparents--we hadn't seen them since Jacob turned 1, and to see my aunt and uncle. Our trip overlapped with my parents trip to Sanibel, so it was a very nice time. I was ambition and drove to Orland to meet the infamous Tink. I'm glad I was able to do that, and I hope in October when we have plans to go to Orlando for a week, I'll be able to see her and Hoop again. Tom also started a new job in November. It was for quite a bit more money, but over an hour each way driving time vs. the 15 minutes commute he used to have.

November also brought the early arrival of Mr Alexandru Richard. He was born 6 weeks early on Nov. 13th to my sister Sarah. I can't wait to meet him next week.

Finally it was December. Even though the kids were excited about Christmas and Santa, I didn't really get in to the Christmas spirit until the 22nd. Then I just wanted it over. We had Christmas Eve Eve at Tom's cousins museum full of dead animals. It was sweet. We hosted Christmas morning brunch which was nice.

Now it's a new year with new things to come. While 2007 had alot of ups, it also had its downs and I really hope we don't have to go through those any time soon again.


Chelle Y. said...

Wow, Mary! (((Hugs))) Last year did have some very sad moments for you all. I am so sorry about that. I do hope that 2008 will bring you a lot of happiness! That is what is great about a new year... it's a new start! :)

Tink said...

I hope this year proves to be less eventful for you. In a good way. ((HUG))


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