All down hill from here

As is custom, when I sit on the edge of a new year I take a look back at the previous one. And it must be said that 2019 was quite the train wreck. All the politics and world issues aside, my personal life was a rollercoaster.

Going chronologically, it started off great. In February of last year I passed my real estate appraisal licensing exam (on the third try) and officially became an appraiser. Then in May I was awarded my AA degree, summa cume laude (then proceeded to transfer to a more distinguished college campus). And in the space between these two landmark achievements, I felt empowered and returned to editing my novel (because nothing could stop the success train!)

I got halfway through my revisions before life turned on a goddamn dime.

The first punch to the gut was my mother getting, officially, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. (Prior to that a nurse practitioner diagnosed her weird mental failings as being under too much stress.) Her loss of memories be damned, it was her erratic and bizarre behavior that finally showed my father and I the ugly truth we had been denying.

Following that my grandmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She was given a month to live and that she did. She passed away in the early morning hours after everyone had left her to rest.

Immediately after that death, my father fell and hit his head while taking his morning piss. (His third time falling that week.) He arrived at the hospital unresponsive and stayed that way until I gave the order to let him rest. He was gone in less than a minute, surrounded by his family.

Since then it has been failure after failure as I struggle to balance my job, my academic life, my romantic relationships, and being the sole caretaker for my mother. I try to keep up but I’m always letting someone down or forgetting to do something.

This had been the way of things until very recently…

After my husband had his weight loss surgery he began to have issues with his balance and walking. It got to be so worrisome that he was sent to a neurologist who ordered MRIs of both his brain and spine, and who gave an early diagnosis of “pressure on the spine.” He has since had them and now we wait for that news to hit us across the face.

To say that 2019 fucked me up would be an understatement. It bludgeoned me and left me on the side of the road to die.

But all is not lost…

This notion that at the stroke of midnight we are all given new lives and new opportunities is ridiculous. In reality we have that at all times. Even when things are shitty. Every moment is new and undiscovered. We get to forge new paths everyday. But just like any route the terrain is vastly different from the one that came before it. How you navigate through it depends solely on your willingness to keep going.

I am glad this year is done. But the shit storm that has become my life will only get progressively worse. It’s just the path I tread. However, I will take every moment I can to find happiness. I will surround myself with love and companionship to remind myself that in the end all that matters is what we did with the time we were given.

A Year Long Challenge. Maybe.

Back in July Writer’s Digest (my hooker of choice) offered a special on a couple e-books. One of which was a book that offered a different writing prompt for every day of a full calendar year.  I wanted to start immediately, but seeing as how the book began on January 1st I thought I’d wait until that time to begin.  Especially since the prompts grew more difficult with each passing day.

Like most things I say “I’ll remember this for later.” I very nearly forgot. It wasn’t until Writer’s Digest sent me another dirty tease about that book which reminded me of it’s existence on my computer.  So, if all of my other resolutions fail I wish for this one to at least go.  I think I can write everyday and post it on here.  (Can’t I?)

The first prompt of Year of Writing Prompts (by Brian A Klems and Zachary Petit) is very fitting for the first of January.

“January 1. Your Resolutions. What are your New Year’s resoltuions? Take one and create a fictional story surrounding it.”

Like countless thousands, I have made at least one resolution.  Though being the lazy overachiever I am I have made a list of 6 different things I would like to accomplish in the new year. Whether I actually achieve them is an entirely different story.  One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Forest Gump which perfectly sums up my feelings about resolutions and a new year.  The scene is of Forest,Captain Dan, and the two hookery girls in a bar watching the ball drop in time square.  One of them with big doughy eyes watches and says in a whisper “I love new years. Everybody gets a second chance.” And if I am given a second chance I’m going to at least mildly attempt it with gusto.

My Resolutions:

1 – Finish my book.
2 – Get in shape.  I’m 58 lbs overweight.
3 – Read at least 12 books.
4 – Get spiritually settled.
5 – Start a family.
6 – Pay off my credit cards.

Derek and Moira stood nervously in the exam room.  Despite having told her numerous times to sit Moira had refused.  So instead he wrapped his wife in his embrace.  He pressed his cheek to hers and hum a tune of his own creation.  It was one of the things she loved most about him.  The gentle melody soothed her nerves and she could focus on more important things like fertility and being pregnant.

This was round number six in their battle with her failing uterus.  In one of there attempts she thought she had a knock out but it came in with a sucker punch and knocked all the wind from her gut.  The two had been devastated and spent nearly a year recuperating.

“Do you think he’s taking so long because it’s good news?” she asked.  She kept her eyes shut and focused on Derek and herself, blocking the rest of the world out.  In her mind she and he stood in the vast expanse of the galaxy among stars and moons.

Derek stopped humming and hugged her tighter.

“It will be what it will be.” he said.

Luckily her eyes were shut and him not looking cause he would have been offended at her eye roll.  It was the best he coud offer at such a time.  He was just as clueless as her and she knew that.

They had prepared in the car before they dare enter the office.  And prior to that they had spent all night talking it through.  The final conclusion then was if this didn’t work they would have to adopt.  Derek had made such a beautiful altruistic case.

“There are so many other kids in this world desperate for a family.  Why would we deny them a loving home?”

She had hated him for his sense of logic. Even a tiny bit jealous.  She had always assumed he felt the same as her when it came to the question “biological or not?” How could they be close to a child that wasn’t made up of the two of them? It was an absolutely selfish thought.  She knew that.  But with all her knowledge she couldn’t change the pressing fear and guilt weighing in her chest.

Please, God, she prayed for the billionth time.

With a click of the door the doctor swooped into the exam room.  He instinctively looked at the table before peering around the door, momentarily perplexed.

“Good afternoon,” he said.

The two stepped from the other’s embrace and stood, only inches apart, with their hands clasped together. Derek like the gentleman that he was offered his hand to the doctor. The white coat clad physician took it and gave it a firm shake.  Already his confidence and cool demeanor had Moira hopeful.  Of the times before, she had known the answer before they had spoken a word.

“So we got back the test and I have some bad news and some good news.”

Moira’s heart froze in her chest.   Derek tightened his grip around her hand.  They could do this, it said.

“The good news is that you are definitely pregnant,” he said then looked down.

“You know what, Dr. Stewart, You can stop there.  Unless the bad news is that it would somehow harm my wife I don’t think we should know. At this point, no matter how the baby is, we will love it all the more.  Because it’s ours.”

MOira looked at her husband, studying his square features and stubbled complexion.

“Okay.” The doctor said.

Derek met his wife’s gaze and smiled.

“Because it’s ours,” she said.