A 2019 Wrap Up

Since at this point i have nothing but time on my hands I can invest some extra time on a 2019 wrap up. Where to start?
Do i reflect on the crazy sometimes corrupt political landscape? Think i’ll save that for another day as we roll into what will probably be an even crazier year.
I’m sure there will be plenty of articles doing an analysis/report on the same anyway.
I’ll reflect on the personal this time.

What i thought about this year was how much my parents meant to me in their last years and how much they SHOULD have meant to me growing up. If you’re young you’re probably already taking them for granted. Eventually you will get it. I hope it’s sooner rather than later. I remember how the motto “don’t trust anyone over 30” resonated with me in my youth.

What i didn’t see then was that one day we would BE over 30. In fact we would we be heading towards our 70’s sooner than we thought. What they meant is don’t trust authority,don’t trust your parents, don’t trust the tried and true. Unfortunately some of us threw the baby out with the bath water. It’s one thing to question everything; it’s another to question even the values that were the glue of a civilized society.

We had a lot of poor influences growing up. I was blessed that my parents gave me a background to fall back on one day. It took me an incredibly long time to wake up.If your kids are straying and you don’t seem to know who they are anymore,don’t lose hope. If you’ve given them even a little foundation they will come back.It may take awhile. It could take your whole life but they will.

Truthfully the nutcases we had back then ended up in the positions of power and authority they rebelled against.
If you’re familiar with Saul Alinsky it may have been their plan all along;it may not have been a plan at all but they managed without one.
I was a Democrat most of my life. The folks were John Kennedy Democrats. The party was showing some cracks then letting the insidious progressive ideas seep in. I doubt we saw them. Now i bet my parents wouldn’t recognize the party at all. I have the feeling they’d have voted Trump with me.

By the way I’m committed to voting for him again,even more so than i was the first time around. I will NEVER go back to the Democrat party and would go Independent [AFTER] Trump if necessary.
Learned in 2019 that your life can change quickly,suddenly,dramatically in ways you can’t imagine. Life can throw something at you that smacks you so hard you’re not sure you can get back up.
When you have another person counting on you,you have to.

I do not want to seem morbid but I would also advise people to write out a directive while they are in good health.My husband became seriously ill and incapacitated in November-right before Thanksgiving.
I had to make life and death decisions that had me in tears some of the time and trying to think them through MOST of the time.

I did a crash course in a disease i never even heard of,endocarditis.The more i learned,the more questions i had. Still have some that haven’t been answered. He’s spent over a month between hospitals and a nursing and rehab facility. It started with a severe case of cellulitis,then sepsis,endocarditis and stroke all in a matter of days,not weeks.

His recovery will be months.I don’t think he realizes how fortunate he is to not only survive all of the above,but how really fortunate he is to be recovering well.I spent the time aware that the phone might ring any minute,but for each day he did survive it looked more hopeful. Now it seems miraculous. Yes,he had anointing of the sick.Yes,I attribute his recovery to the sacrament.

I especially realized we ought to have written out our directives long before any of this happened.I kept in the back of my mind what HE would have wanted. It had a lot of bearing on most of the decisions i made.

When you have other people with their own thinking on what your decisions should be it can be 10x more stressful.I have a suggestion for other family members faced with a situation like ours. BE SUPPORTIVE.

Don’t get involved in the decision making-not even a little bit- unless asked. They need unconditional support. PERIOD. If you’re asked it’s another matter.I felt they had the right to know everything though. I kept them informed about his condition almost daily and the steps that would be taken.

When i didn’t know something or wasn’t sure i let them know i wasn’t speaking with certainty. Sometimes i had to ask questions of the doctors,nurses and do more research.
Maybe i was telling them too much re decisions and that caused problems we could have avoided but i honestly felt an obligation to keep them informed. I know what it felt like when i wasn’t sure what was going on.The lesson here is that things can happen in your life you don’t see coming.

I can’t believe how much we took for granted. While he was gone it dawned on me there were things i valued that didn’t amount to squid.I’m grateful to his son for coming up to get me & spending time with his dad. He spent hours on the road. I white knuckled it all the way down to _____ and back.Small town girl,big city, doesn’t mix.

My friend “Portia” in Florida helped get me through this immensely. We talked almost every day. She sent Gary some chocolates after i mentioned his chocolate obsession.
She also gave me some great advice when i told her i needed to get the house straightened up but i didn’t feel like doing a darned thing. She said do 1 thing on the first day and add one thing each day;that is,do 2 the next and so on.

I’d let it all go the first couple weeks and boy did it look it!It was actually getting difficult for me to deal with. How long could I let things pile up?

I knew eventually Gary would come home and he couldn’t come home to the disaster i was setting up. “Portia” was right and it kept getting easier,instead of overwhelming because i was trying to do everything all at once like many of us try to do.
My brother called. It was good to hear from him and his asking how things were going lifted my spirits considerably. i hope i conveyed to him how important that call was to me.

I love hearing from my son these days. Sometimes i worry that the last call might be the last call.I keep thinking he might decide not to call again. I suppose such worry is useless .He’s either going to keep in touch or he isn’t and there isn’t much i can do about it.

I’ll just take it as it comes and enjoy his conversation as well as knowing how he’s doing in life. Good to know. I imagine anyone my age reading here understands exactly what i’m saying.It was awkward at first too. It’s getting easier.I’m not as serious a person as i used to be and it keeps it light. You can always be serious when you need to.
I’ve learned it’s not always necessary.

I’m going to add one final thought about 2019 and life in general. I’ve always believed we should help other people especially people in need,even people we might not consider friends or as much as tolerate.

I remember reading an article about Bill Gates-might be true or not-that said he intended to leave some of his fortune to charity AFTER HE DIED. The greatest charity is when you give of what little you have. Mother Therese called it giving till it hurts.

She would remind us of Jesus crucified saying that is what it  took for Him to love us.I have to be honest and admit sometimes i’m self absorbed and egotistical. Did i mention selfish and uncompromising(this can be a curse and blessing)?Sometimes i look out for myself more than others. I’m no Mother Therese that’s for sure. I do TRY to live up what i believe.

I don’t believe we have to toot our own horn either. Most of the small acts i did were between God and me. They will never be known by anyone else and that’s just fine. Let’s keep in mind that Jesus had nothing against rich people. He associated with them. Jesus never looked into the eyes of anyone He didn’t love,rich or poor.

 

He befriended both rich and poor.He never said being poor was a guarantee of heaven or that being rich would prevent it. He spoke several times about detachment. Sometimes when you help the wrong person you get burnt.You could easily become bitter. Been there,done it,did that. I’m working on it.

We think of the rich as suffering from greed but that’s not always true. They’re like anyone else. Some are,some aren’t. The poor can suffer from the other vice,envy. We can consider the rich as having an inherent vice such as greed and think of the poor as having an inherent aversion to a vice such as envy.It has been said,never assume anything.

The year 2020 is going to be the year we ride the rails*(see NOTE in conclusion),maybe make 1 more move when we swore the last time we moved was the last time we moved and we’re definitely going to vote Trump and a straight Republican ticket.Pelosi,Schiff and Nadler have to go!

If we do move it won’t be out of the location,just the residence. We still love it up here.I’m not sure what lies ahead so it’s not a plan yet. We have to talk it over and see if it would be beneficial given the new circumstances. For now,the illness was disruptive of our life and we have to get our sea legs back first.

Oh yeah, can’t forget!

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most of all good health. 

*NOTE: We are working with a cardiac surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic to get a 2nd opinion re heart surgery-mitral valve replacement-and if he has to have the surgery it will be done at the Clinic. We plan to take the Amtrak Train out for comfort,convenience and price. Neither of us drive and we’re not going to try to dig up a ride especially when he will need the comfort of train travel.

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Catholic.conservative. Pro life.Period.