Two Thousand Eight...

Wow.

Aside from the piles of work on my desk that I have slowly been plodding through, determined to tackle before the 10th arrives, life continues as usual...

It was a beautiful week or so off - lots of relaxation, lots of cooking delicious-smelling things, lots of love and laughter mixed in with some reflection and not too many tears. It was just what it should have been.

New Year's Eve found us keeping with tradition and sitting at our favorite sushi bar after having the traditional pre-sushi drink with TZ (which will, this NYE on, be enjoyed at Caffe Boa...). Three years running we've done the sushi-and-home routine. It was nice to be sitting there, realizing that we have created somewhat of a tradition. It was nice to be sitting there, feeling good, being able to taste the food in front of me, and knowing that I looked somewhat normal. Most of all, it was good to know that in the eyes of my husband sitting beside me - due to antibiotics, Vitamin K, and lots of love - I knew that he could once again see past it all and see the inner me. It was definitely a roller coaster of a year, but as we sipped our (traditional) Clos Du Bois chardonnay and reflected, we agreed it was definitely more good than bad...

So, we looked at the year in review:

January: P.F. Chang's Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. Our 3rd one together. Not my best effort, but only about 30 seconds off last year's time. It was cold.... very, very cold that day.

February: The FBR Open, the Clouds' visit, Greg's birthday, the Lost Dutchman half marathon, the Hoffmanns in town. It was a busy, fun month...

March: My first time to Santa Fe. I loved it. We ate, we drank, we braved the cold. We got our marriage license, we checked out the sculpture garden, we laughed and dreamed and planned.

April: I'm sure there was more going on in April prior to April 27, but that weekend is what sticks out in my mind most of all. We got married in our beautiful sculpture garden on a crystal clear spring day. I got to be the beautiful bride I always wanted to be, I got to look into the eyes of the man I knew I'd spend the rest of my life with and join our hearts and lives in front of God and the world. It was just he and I in our own world, and it was just how it was supposed to be.
We celebrated and dreamed and enjoyed and loved and lived...

May: Our party at Caffe Boa. We celebrated with friends, we hiked, and we came up for air...

June: Havasupai Falls. One more thing checked off of my life list. I've always wanted to go, and finally, we did. I could try to find the words, but amazing wouldn't quite cover the feeling of swimming into pounding water to cling to rocks behind the waterfall at Havasupai Falls or facing my fears and navigating the hike down to Mooney Falls, or traipsing through the lush vegetation on the way to Beaver Falls or diving off the rocks into the clear blue water once we got there. Or drinking wine chilled from the river after a long day of playing and exploring and experiencing and swimming. Or falling asleep in perfect temperature feeling the breeze rustle through our tent in the arms of my husband. And then there was the Red Sox Series. And Alison Krauss. And Norah Jones. June was full of sweet, soulful music. And we went to Flagstaff. And prepared for Mt. Whitney. June also brought Greg some sadness with the tragic loss of a long-time friend. And a bit of reconnection with the past and the people that shared the memories during a trip home. June was full of activity and learning and music and strength and led straight into July...

July: July started off quietly aside from the air conditioner breaking, but the quiet was fleeting. July brought scans and doctor visits and biopsies and diagnoses and the realization of one of my greatest fears. Cancer. But there was a beautiful trip to Prescott with hiking and friends and dogs. And a trip to Overgaard the weekend of my birthday as we watched the rain pouring down from the wrap-around deck of our rented cabin, contemplated our future, enjoyed one another and prepared for what lie ahead. Together.

August: Chemo. And the beginning of this leg of the journey. It can all be found in these entries - at least pieces of the story. Yet, we conquered Mt. Whitney and got to stand on top of the world and tell cancer to fuck off and that it's not going to take me. I had too much still to accomplish. I still do.

September: September was full of treatments. And my 1.5 minutes of fame on Channel 12. We got the opportunity to sneak up north to camp on the Mogollon Rim for some fresh, cool air and rejuvenation. Twice.

October: Still full of treatments. And being featured in two articles in the news. And the Race for the Cure. And shaving my head. Still running. Still thriving. Fundraising and getting ready for the 3-Day. Going up to wine country and San Francisco, and even though we were sick, laughing and enjoying one another and having fun. And watching the Red Sox win the World Series...

November: The 3-Day. Standing in front of the crowd of walkers, crew, and survivors, bald head out there for everyone to see, proudly carrying a flag that read "Belief." And afterwards, finally starting to feel the cumulative effects of treatments and starting to slow down, kicking and screaming all the way. Thanksgiving. Giving thanks for friends, and family, and love and life.

December: The holiday season and putting up our beautiful tree. And getting that warm feeling inside upon coming home and seeing our lights. Our house. Our life. Dealing with the fact that the weeks and weeks and months of chemo had finally caught up to me, and not dealing with it all that gracefully at times. And finally taking a break. And the Nutcracker. And heading up to the Grand Canyon, which was full of more time in the lounge and scrabbling then hiking, but still just as beautiful. Looking out over the edge and saying a prayer to whomever happened to be listening, in thanks and reverence to the wonder before me and the wonder I still had yet to see in its depths. Finally feeling my body and my soul start to bounce back and my spirits start to rise again. Tasting food and looking toward the time when I wouldn't have to cover my head with a ski cap to protect it from the cold. Relaxing and cooking and filling the house with comforting smells. Celebrating the holidays with the beautiful family I married into, and looking forward to the year ahead. Finally, coming full circle, to sitting at the sushi bar at Sakana, talking with Greg about the year we just had. Looking forward to seeing what the coming year would bring. Realizing that the next couple of weeks would bring about some interesting developments and questions answered with the surgery on the 10th and being glad to finally have that behind us. And realizing that the future of treatments would not be decided until then. And knowing that more prayers were needed.

At the time? Enjoying the Red Storm and the assorted sashimi and the spicy scallops and unagi. Savoring the crisp taste of the chardonnay and smiling about the tradition we had created and the fact that this was the third year in a row we had spent New Year's Eve in this manner. Realizing that we were, once again, laughing more than not. And hearing him say, "I love my girl, so much...".

Quite a year it was...

3 comments:

    On January 3, 2008 at 10:00 AM Alyson said...

    with at least 50 more to come...

    "once again, laughing more than not"

    this makes me smile and have so much hope voo.

    What a beautiful recounting of a year in the life of YOU.

    Kiss,Kiss