Bienvenidos, 2020! I am so glad you’re here. Glad YOU are here, too!! I am excited about this shiny new year, the first in this shiny new decade. It seems so many bloggers and friends are hopeful about what is in store for 2020. Here are some of the highs and lows of our 2019.
I created this Bitmoji to illustrate my overall opinion of 2019. But to be totally honest, the year wasn’t all bad! There was just a lot of LIFE with which we had to deal. Occasionally sprinkled with moments of joy and peace.
Last year began with my mom in the psychiatric hospital – even on Christmas day – after expressing suicidal ideations. She had attempted suicide twice before in the last 8 years. Once she was mentally stable, we had to address the pneumonia and UTI she developed at The Ridge. That translated into at least 2 hospital stays and stint in a rehabilitation facility attached to her senior living complex. While she was in and out of this facility and that, we moved her from a 2 bedroom apartment on the third floor to a small one room ‘studio’ on the first floor.
But there was also this beautiful dusting of snow and a visit from these girls to balance those dark days.
PC’s birthday, Valentine’s Day with an overnight stay at the downtown El Paso boutique Hotel Indigo.
But Lauren had her second miscarriage in 3 months. The first in November, resulting in a D&C in December, 2018, while I was in Kentucky with my mom. The second miscarriage in February 2019. We were beginning to think Lucia wouldn’t have a baby sister or brother.
We learned that Francisco was applying for jobs in El Paso that would bring the kids back home. Once they had made the decision to move, we wasted no time house-hunting.
During my mom’s birthday month, the doctors determined that she had some kind of fluid or mass in or around her abdominal cavity or ovaries. We instantly thought the worst…cancer. The fluid or mass was never identified and the doctors decided nothing could be done about whatever it is.
PC learned that there was truth in the rumors that his job and his entire organization were moving to the east coast. He had to travel to Washington State for work and I joined him for a few days. While there, we met up with 2 of my daughters’ cousins originally from Panama, Gloria and Yeny. I hadn’t seen Gloria, sitting next to me, since the mid-80s and hadn’t seen Yeny, next to Gloria, since 2010. And we learned that his job would going away much earlier than we had originally thought.
Enjoyed sight-seeing in Seattle but our visit was clouded with worry about PC’s job.
My birthday month, a very late Easter and the beginning of baseball season for PC. My Prince had to have the nerves in his spine burned to alleviate the pain in his lower back and hips. And I was back in Kentucky with mom. The doctors discovered blood clots in the full length of my mother’s left leg from pelvis to ankle. She was hospitalized with that and stomach issues for about a week.
And praise God, Lauren was pregnant again.
The fifth month of the year gave us a little breather. Lauren’s pregnancy was progressing. PC’s job was definitely going away but it seemed that he would have work through the end of the year and a paycheck for 6 months beyond that. My mom seemed to be doing better. And we had pledged to lose weight by starting Weight Watchers and going regularly to the gym.
I went to court for the final time over our pool. The judge determined that we would have to go to arbitration and mediation which meant hiring another lawyer and spending more money trying to get our pool deck repaired. After fighting for 18 months or more to get something fixed that should never have happened in the first place, we simply didn’t have the gumption, the fight left in us.
Another overall joyful month. The kids found a house. And Francisco was offered 2 jobs in El Paso. I toured day cares and chose one for Lucia at Lauren’s request. Enjoyed a pin-up photo class through Ft. Bliss’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation office. And I began trying to take a different perspective on our pool. Tried to look for the good and overlook the bad.
Wow, 3 good months in a row. PC was applying for jobs everywhere within about a 200 mile radius of El Paso. We were just beginning to get more nervous about his potential unemployment. Lauren, Francisco and Lucia moved from Albuquerque to El Paso. We saw our first glimpse of baby Camila. And we El Paso gals traveled to Ft. Worth to visit Brennyn, Mustafa and Cadence for birthdays.
And we celebrated our 11th anniversary.
Our close-knit community was rocked to its core with the active shooter situation at a mid-town Walmart on 08.03.2019. PC was on his way play in a baseball game. I was home when the alerts started coming over our phones. It was the same alarm sound as an Amber Alert so I didn’t immediately check my phone. But it kept blaring. This is the message I saw when I finally picked up my phone.
I have kept this alert on my phone to remind me how quickly life can change. To remind me how very precious each moment is. And to remind me that we never know when our time on earth may come to an end. #elpasostrong
We attended my niece’s wedding in Knoxville, after making a quick detour to see our parents in Kentucky and Ohio.
We learned that pretty much everything PC had been led to believe about his job situation was not accurate. As of 01.31.2020, if he didn’t have a new position, he would be unemployed, no severance pay, no help finding a new job. I began subbing and we began saving more money each month. Had long talks about our finances, whether I needed to be looking for full time work. I told the family that Christmas would be slim.
Baseball came to an end, and just in time, because PC’s back and hips had begun hurting. But he was still 2 months from being able to have his second nerve ablation. The team was sad to see the season end, but the wives were not!
I joined the Get Your Pretty On fall challenge and loved all of the pieces in the capsule wardrobe. PC had lost almost 25 pounds and I had lost almost 10. We were exercising, hiking, and tracking our points. We felt good!
Lauren was now 6 months along with baby Cami. We felt like we could finally breathe a collective sigh of relief. She was probably out of the woods as far as a chance of miscarriage. And then, Lauren started having a variety of problems…irregular heart rhythms, the baby was breech, her placenta was beginning to cover her cervix. I slept with my cell phone turned on beside my pillow.
Possibly my favorite month of the year, every year until recently. My mom’s psychiatric troubles in 2018-2019 began in October of 2018.
After a fun afternoon with the kids at the corn maze and pumpkin patch, we stopped at Victoria’s for a late lunch.
PC got up from the table at one point to take a phone call. I thought it was a little strange that he went outside to talk but he wasn’t gone long. He seemed quieter the rest of the meal but his back was really hurting. As we were leaving the restaurant to head home, he told me that his mother in Ohio had been in a wreck. She wasn’t badly hurt but 2 people on a motorcycle had been killed.
Once we were home, and spoke with my MIL, we realized that she was suffering from a concussion. She was very confused about what had happened. My brother-in-law took May to the hospital where they confirmed she did have a concussion. The next couple of days details of the accident began to be revealed through police reports and witness statements. My sweet, humble, kind mother-in-law had just left home to deliver home cooked meals to some ‘shut-ins’ when the collision occurred. So very HER to always be thinking of others.
We carved jack-o-lanterns with the kids later in the month and then took Cia trick-or-treating on Halloween. But both of us were operating on auto-pilot. PC’s pumpkin says it all.
This month my nephew Trey also went off to Basic Training. We were so proud but also a little worried for him. These are scary times we are living in.
The eleventh month of the year seemed 3 months long. We waited for word from the insurance company, the police department and possibly the families’ of the victims in the car wreck. Neither of us slept well. And both of us wished there was something more we could do. Some way we could help PC’s parents, his brother and wife who were dealing with things from the trenches.
When May was given a court date of 12.03.2019, we bought tickets for a trip back to Ohio and Kentucky. My mom had begun to struggle with depression as the holidays approached. My brother Kevin was going to be traveling a lot the last 2 months of the year, which sends mom into a tail spin. More sleepless nights.
The temporary memorial for the victims of the El Paso mass shooting was disassembled and moved to a permanent location. And Walmart began construction on its Grand Candela in memory of those who died or were injured on 08.03.2019.
The day before Thanksgiving, PC was hired for a new job in El Paso! Praise God.
Thank goodness for the distraction, the joy, the ball of energy that is Lucia. For it is she who provided us the most delightful diversions from our grown-up worries.
We left for Kentucky and Ohio on November 30, and spent the first couple of days with my mom. We were pleased and so was she when she won the coverall in Bingo and with that, $9.60. It’s those little things that add up to the big things.
We enjoyed some sweet memory making moments with my mom and PC’s parents. But the reason for our visit, at that time, was always hanging over us like a cloud. May had to be at the court house at 8:00 am on the 3rd of December. Paul, his brother, SIL and I went with May to support her. She was, by far, the oldest person in the court room, and when the charges against her were read aloud by the judge everyone stopped to listen. What could a 77 year-old Baptist preacher’s wife, mother, grandmother, friend – known and loved by so many in the tiny towns of Tipp City and Troy, Ohio – have done to bring her here?
The court house was beautiful. I snapped lots of photos in hopes of quieting my nerves.
Without saying too much, this is such a tragedy in so many ways. Two lives are lost. My mother-in-law’s life will never be the same. And it trickles down through the families. After the charges were read against my mother-in-law, her case was postponed until 02.13.2020. We continue to wait to see what happens. There is a possibility May will be given jail time. A fine. She was asked to temporarily surrender her license but she never wants to drive again. Day after day, she replays the accident in her head like a horrible movie that she can’t walk out on. And we all feel so broken-hearted for everyone.
My mom made it through the holidays. Hallelujah. Thank You, God.
As I have been finishing this post, Lauren called to say she just lost her mucus plug…TMI? The baby was due the 3rd week of January, but the C-section was finally scheduled last week for 01.15.2020. Lauren has begun having very high blood pressure, protein in her urine, contractions. Cia got stuck in the birth canal and had torticollis as a result. We are hoping to avoid that this time. So the C-section was bumped up to this coming Wednesday, 01.08.2020. But I think I will sleep in my sweats tonight. Just in case.
Please join me in praying for my mother-in-law. For the families of the victims in the collision. Please remember the victims and families of the El Paso shooting. And may I ask that you think a good thought for my daughter Lauren and granddaughter Camila. Oh, and for PC who begins his new job tomorrow. He has another ablation on 01.13.2020.
I was hopeful that the trials of 2019 would be left behind on 12.31.2019, but that isn’t the case. Prayerful that 2020 will be long on joy and peace and short on tribulation. Happy New Year, friends. Bienvenidos, 2020, so glad you’re here.
Hugs and kisses,