Friday, August 11, 2006

Reflections on tuning 34

Well, today it's official - I am 34 years old. That doesn't sound much older than 33, and I certainly wasn't asked much this past year how old I was, so it really isn't a big deal. The reflections are more on the past year, and what a year it has been. More specifically what a sixmonth stretch this has been.

The first half of my 33rd year was pretty routine. I like routine because it is familiar. Max started Kindergarten and that was our big change (actually happened at the very end of my 32nd year, but let's not pick nits). Max loved school, the little guys didn'tseem to mind that he was gone most of the day, and we went about our business. The only real stress was that Tom wasn't so happy at his job and we all weren't so happy that he was travelling so very much. So, he started working on that part - mostly thinking about what he really wanted to do. Fast forward a few months. We're at the beginning of this calendar year and Tom has a new job that will take us to Virginia. We are very excited but there's a ton to do in a short amount of time.

Jump ahead one more month. My Grandma Sybil passes away suddenly, but she was in her late 80's and lived a very good life. I was sad but glad to have known her - she was truely a wonderful person. I travel out to NY for the funeral and see all the relatives. A week later my Grandpa Kermit died of what everyone describes as a broken heart. He was in his early 90's andnot in great shape, but he told me he was just waiting for Sybil to pass. He did - what a loving thing to do. Back and forth to NY again - this time only a month before the big move.

The move itself went smoothly. The company that Tom works for made it a very simple and strightforward process. All we needed to do was fill out some forms, tell folks when to show up and where, and sell our house. Now, that's a story into and of itself. The house sold pretty quickly (but after we were in VA) and that part was over. No need to rehash the crazy buyer stories - but just know that there are stories. We found a house the first day we looked and was able to secure it relatively wuickly, but we stayed ina hotel for almost two weeks. It snowed while we were here - without coats - and the kids thought that was cool. We hung out at the mall a lot because they had a playplace there - also pretty cool.

We eventually got our stuff all in one piece, got settled into our house and got Max into school. His new school was different but also very good. We were impressed with the school itself and are looking forward to him being there for more than the first few months.

In the midst of this my scrapbooking business was growing. I have yet to really get it going locally, but the reason for that is to come later in this year. But rest assured it's going! The market here is wide open and I'm sure that IRW is going to grow here in Virginia.

So, the summer starts up and we are looking foward to a trip to California for my cousin's HS graduation, swim lessons, and lots of outdoor fun. Two weeks before the CA trip, and shortly before Max gets out of school we find out that my Mom has a 4 cm glioblastoma in her brain. That's a very aggressive brain tumor. Life in this house comes to a halt. Patti and Henry basically move up to this part of the country for the next few months and are here when we need them to be. I went back and forth to visit with Mom, help Dad and give him love, and watch my mom quickly fade. She goes home from the hospital after a very brief stay (and brain surgery) right into Hospice Care. They are in and out initially, then provide full time care the last few weeks. She declines quickly so I take the boys out there to see her. While we're there Max gets sick , so he can't visit her the last two days, and then the morning we were leaving Sam got sick. We were staying down the street from my folks house and were very thankful that they put us up. I went back to TX two more times, the last being the day after Mom passed away. What a rough time.

Max's birthday was sneaking up and we really weren't sure what we were going to do. So, my Dad came to VA, Tom's folks stuck around, and some old friends from Texas who had moved to MD came over and we played mini-golf. The kids loved it and it was really great for my Dad to have some fun with the kids. Then, our Anniversary came and went (got some pretty flowers!) and here I sit typing on my birthday.

So, you can see that the past few months have been an adventure. Our lives since Mom was diagnosed came to a halt. We didn't dare plan anything bceause I wasn't sure what was to come. Tomorrow we are off to San Francisco for a luncheon for family to celebrate mom's life. She was a wonderful woman and will truely be missed.

And now, I am 34. Hopefully this next year will less eventful.

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