…and glance back at the year that wasn’t here.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I know we’re almost two months in, but I hope it’s not too late to wish you a Happy New Year …whether you call it the first year of the new decade or the last year of the old one. (I guess maybe it depends on whether your count runs from 1 to 10 or 0 to 9?)
I’ve been wanting to come back to this space for a while. I’m seeing time opening up for it, and my brain is starting to kick into gear with things to say and do here. And the first thing I want to do is talk a little about what’s kept me away.
The year that wasn’t here: a brief look back at 2019
2019 was a challenging year for me and mine—it took a lot, and I wasn’t sorry to see it go. In all honesty, it’s been a challenging three years or so, for reasons big and small. Some of that is the rambunctious, unsettled time we’re living in, which impacts us no matter how much we try to control our personal environments (and manage our personal anxieties). And some of it’s been personal—family and work, losses and adjustments.
We started 2019 with me undergoing surgery to repair a macular hole in my left eye. We ended the year with our dog Winchester undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left hind leg. (Not a great year on the left side of Casa Vasquez, I must say.) My recovery impacted my work life for a couple of months while my vision adjusted. Winchester’s recovery (now officially complete!) kept him away from doggie daycare for a couple of months. It didn’t impact his work, however.
The challenges of eldrecare were a constant between those bookends of the year. Back in August 2018, we helped my mother-in-law move to an assisted-living facility near us. She already had a dementia diagnosis, and new challenges followed the move. She was hospitalized a few times (injuries, infections, and assessments), followed by stays in rehab facilities. We saw a rapid decline in physical and mental capabilities through the spring and summer of 2019. My husband Paul and his brother made the decision to place her on hospice early last fall, and she died peacefully on October 25.
I’ll have a follow-up post in a few days about some of the less “eventful” events of 2019. If all goes well, they won’t be my only posts of 2020. I’m not calling this a comeback, but I really hope it is!