Sunday, January 12, 2020

2019 - a (mostly crappy) year in review

January: Paul and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. Sam and I started the year out on a nearly holy level by seeing the Broadway tour of Book of Mormon in Tulsa. I was fairly certain during one song that the entire theatre was going to be struck by lightning, but aside from that underlying fear, we laughed our asses off and I am hoping to go see it again this year in Arkansas. I turned 46. woot.

February: Paul turned 56. A friend in Tulsa gave me two tickets to see The Play That Goes Wrong at the PAC. Sam couldn't get anyone to cover his call, so I took Mom. It was cute and I plan to see it again this year in Springfield with Sam.

March: Paul, Kady and I got the flu during spring break. That was super fun. Mine went into pneumonia. That was also super fun. Abby, Kady and I went to NEO to see Frank Warren of Post Secret fame. It was spectacular, especially since I was reading Post Secret when it started.

April: Paul started a new job with the City of Miami. We continued our years-long journey into trying to find out What's Wrong with Kady™. Mom, Pops, and I rode to Tahlequah together to see my niece in a Greek thing for her sorority. It was on that car ride that I verbally announced to the first people on the planet my intention of going back to school to pursue a degree in Journalism/Public Relations. My anxiety went through the roof. Speaking it makes it more real. Later in the month Mom, Sis and I dressed up in 1980s dayglo and went out in public. Mom was adorable. Sam dumped his motorcycle and we spent all night in the ER getting him sewn up and a CT done just to be safe. He took a few years off his momma's life.

May: Paul bought a motorcycle. My anxiety went through the roof even more. I attended my first nerd-themed wedding. It was spectacular and the most fun I've ever had at a wedding. Sam and I continued our theatre adventure by seeing Something Rotten in Springfield. It was entertaining, but I'm not sure I'd see it again. Kady graduated from high school (a year early). Most of Ottawa County flooded.

June: Paul, myself and the kids journeyed to Silver Dollar City for the first time in ages. I rode a roller coaster for the first time in over 10 years. It. Was. AMAZING. The day after SDC I began summer classes online. We began construction on turning half the house into an apartment for Kady. The week after classes began there was a crackhead on a crime spree in our neighborhood and a high speed chase that ended up going literally through our front yard. Kady suffered some serious trauma from it. It was the first time in my life I ever pulled a gun on a person with the intent of shooting in self-defense. At the end of the month we went our our every-other-year traditional Big Family™ vacation. 18 people, one house, much chaos. And food.

July: Wemberly turned 3. She wanted a "birthday party [themed] birthday party" so that's what she got. Kady finally got into a GI doc who listened to her and agreed with our suspicion of Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome.

August: Celebrated my one year anniversary at Crowder. Started another semester of college - one online class (World Religions) and three seated (Journalism, Public Relations,  and Quantitative Reasoning - math). Kady also started her first semester of college at Crowder while Sam began his final one. At the end of the month a very crazy storm rolled through the area - 80 mph winds which took out trees and power lines everywhere. Our power was out for four days. We ran a generator to keep the fridge and freezer going and showered in various places, including a state park. During that time I started having some abdominal pain (and honestly just thought I was constipated because of the fact we'd had no water and I'm a shy pooper lol). Also, Sam and I reached the pinnacle of the year's theatre experience when we saw Hamilton in Tulsa. I was so sick, running a fever and in so much pain, but wasn't about to miss out on the experience. It was absolutely phenomenal!

September: Sam and I got home from seeing Hamilton around 2am. I was in tremendous pain, so I took some Aleve, got a heating pad and slept horribly for a few hours. Paul went up to a neighbor's to work on his trailer. After some googling and a few phone calls, I decided to shower and pack a bag for the hospital. Paul had left his phone in the truck while he was working on the trailer, so Kady had to run up and get him. He careened into the driveway, ready to carry me in his arms if that was needed. I made him shower and just drive me instead. We went to Claremore Indian Hospital since I didn't have insurance. A CT showed diverticulitis with an abscess. They said they were admitting me and planned to do surgery in the morning, however the surgeon took one look at the scan and said, "I'm not touching her." So I took my first ambulance ride in about 40 years in the middle of the night to OSU Medical Center in Tulsa where I spent four days with three teams fighting over if I was going to have surgery and what kind. I was septic and miserable and scared and two hours away from my family. I ended up not having surgery, thank God. Abby drove in Tulsa her first time in order to get herself, her daddy, and sister there to see me. In order to not have to drop classes altogether since I was slipping behind in the journalism classes, I switched my major to General Studies, dropped the journalism classes and added a couple of second-eight-week online classes (Philosophy and Music Appreciation) to allow me time to heal and also keep me enrolled full time. I got home from the hospital just in time for Petal to turn 2.

October: On his way home a weekend with his girlfriend in Arkansas, Sam hydroplaned in his truck and left the roadway. The truck came to rest about 1000 feet into the brush. It took the tow truck 4 1/2  hours to get him out but there was ZERO damage to the truck. His mother's nerves, however, were another story. Mom had a tumor removed from her bladder. I followed up with the surgeon in Miami who suggested getting some insurance and considering a surgery to remove a significant portion of my intestines. I scheduled a colonoscopy with him for the next month. Abby turned 23. Paul and I went to a Halloween party dressed as Ladd and Ree Drummond (aka Marlboro Man and Pioneer Woman).

November: Sam turned 21. I had my colonoscopy. I woke up during it. That was bizarre. The doctor found some hyperplasia and said the diverticula were vast and widespread and the surgery should be even more highly considered than before. We had pizza for Thanksgiving because Momma wasn't up for killing herself to cook a giant meal in the midst of ...... well, everything.

December: The whole family went to see Polar Express in the theater. I passed all my classes with As. Sam finally graduated from Crowder with his Associate degree in Journalism/Public Relations. The whole family (minus the babies) saw White Christmas in the theater. Kady turned 18. We took her gambling. We sang Christmas carols for our 80 year old Uncle Tom. We had our annual Christmas Eve Mario Kart tournament. I made chocolate gravy for the first time. Kady saw a rheumatologist who shrugged his shoulders over her and referred her to a geneticist. So that saga of What's Wrong with Kady™ continues into the new year.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

2019 wasn't great. Pretty crappy, if you want me to be honest. Yes, pun intended. Sure, we all survived. It could've been worse. But if you asked me to rate it, I'd likely not give it five stars.

2020 will see me finally graduate college with an Associate degree in nothing special in particular. This will mark 29 years since I took my first semester at NEO right out of high school. What should've taken four semesters took 29 years. I mean, I did it my way, right? I'm still working in Project NOW at Crowder and still love my job very much. I work with amazing people and I love helping the students. I hope to see better health and wellness - physical and mental - for us all as a family.

Kady has decided to take at least a semester off college to see what full-time work feels like being all grownup and stuff. She has a fast food job, but an interview with a bank tomorrow. She's still living in her little apartment next door and has been sharing it with her brother and his girlfriend since early December.

Sam and Maegan just moved into their new apartment today in Neosho. She has an interview tomorrow and Sam's working parttime at Crowder with hopes of a full time position soon.

Paul's still with the city. He still has his motorcycle much to my chagrin. He still leaves his little red beard hairs on the sink. We just celebrated our 27th anniversary.

Wemberly and Petal are in occupational and speech therapy respectively and are making great strides. W has Sensory Processing Disorder and OT is helping her with that so much. Petal is largely nonverbal, but speech therapy is helping her communicate. Abby and Dakota are amazing parents who absolutely devote all their energy into helping those two little girls thrive. Those two grandgirls just thrill my Kiki heart to no end.

At the beginning of last year I claimed a word for 2019: Wellness. see how that worked out.......

I have adopted no word, no theme, no claim for 2020. We'll just see what happens.

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We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...