Monday, January 4, 2016

Silver Linings

2015 was a year full of ups and downs for us. Mostly downs it seems but maybe not. Still, I'm glad to see it gone. It began for me with the worst cluster headache phase I'd ever been through. A phase that had begun the previous September and would stay with me for 5 months. I had never experienced anything like that in the 40 years I've been routinely visited by these beasts. I didn't mention what I was going through here although I did blog extensively about what was happening. I may publish my writings someday but I can't say for sure. They're much more personal than I usually get.

My clotting issues began very soon into the new year and I had no idea what I was in for. I had the wind taken out of my sails for a time but I was continually looking for a silver lining; for something I could take from the experience that would serve to make me stronger. If you were to ask me while I was going through all of that I'd have been hard-pressed to point to a silver lining but looking back I can clearly see how God had me in his care as the doctors were able to save my leg when there was a good chance they weren't going to be successful. That's silver lining enough for me.

My mother's health began its decline in May and would eventually end with her passing in September. It was a very difficult several months for us as a family with some unnecessary inner turmoil that resulted in bitter words being exchanged between siblings as we tried to do what was best for Mom.

Amidst all of this we were dealing with the change in our lives brought about when Tammy's mother Elaine came to live with us in late May. That sort of change in a family's dynamic can't be fully appreciated or anticipated until it happens. We're blessed to have been in a position to take her in but we do miss being able to be more spontaneous in our daily lives. We used to do so much together and that seldom happens anymore. Still, we'd do it all over again if presented with the same circumstances.

August brought about so much change for us when I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. It was change that would cause me to ultimately pull the plug on my career and head for the exit. It wasn't at all the way I wanted to go out but I kept reminding myself that getting my hearing back was all that really mattered. Plus, I was able to be there for Tammy when she really needed me more than ever. There were many more silver linings in that experience than not and I'm grateful for them all.

I have no idea what to expect in 2016 but I'm excited and we'll roll with whatever the year presents to us. Life is good.

I had to run to Keith's shop this morning. On the drive there with Toby and Allie in my lap I was in awe of a beautiful hoar frost that had blanketed us overnight. I hadn't planned to ride my bike today having ridden the previous 3 days but seeing this beauty all around me I decided I had to be out there taking it in from my bike.

A few photos from my ride.

See you in the new year!

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