Because we don't live a Christmas Letter life, I can't write one. The pictures would be a little troubling also. Sorry. We can't laugh about it all yet, but maybe someday.
Here is a recap, though. Our year started with Brita getting rear ended, totaling her car and breaking her ribs. Christmas was not fun for her, nor were the many weeks after. Tess was sick four different times, each lasting for about seven weeks. Tests. Tests. And more tests with no answers. Craig was hit by an oncoming car turning in front of him as he was riding his motorcycle. He was in pain most of the summer and fall. Shoulder, ribs, neck, knees, and arm. The internal bruises have been slow to heal. He experienced depression for the first time in his life. I experienced him not being able or capable to bear the load he usually does. I concluded that I take his emotional and physical strength for granted. This, I purpose to rectify. I still have the piece of shattered glass from his windshield. It is in the shape of a heart. I'm grateful he wasn't taken from us that day.
We added two kitties to the estrogen laden air in our home. If I don't get them fixed soon, I'm afraid we will have two batches of kitties birthed in our closet. The kitties made us smile and laugh with their playfulness. They alone had the fortitude to lay curled up next to Tess for hours at a time bringing warmth and comfort. Brita cared for her sister in intimate and generous ways that most siblings never experience. She nursed and bathed and cleaned up after her. She found perfectly tempting food for Tess's wilted palate. Her tenacity was a welcomed character quality as it translated into a year's worth of never giving up. Love is an action verb to Brita. We all were the recipients of it many times over this year. Somehow she carried all of us at different times. She is a woman of substance. Beloved. Complex. Mysterious. Beautiful inside and out.
Tess was the most uncomplaining patient in history. I watched her be disappointed and lose heart each time she got sick, but I also saw her catch the tail of hope and rise with it. I witnessed her training her thoughts to comply, obey, and be disciplined instead of rule over her. This I admire in one so young. Her thought processes are those of a mature woman. An old soul. I don't fear for her future. She taught me how to live this year. She has an ethereal loveliness that comes from experiencing great trouble. It's in her eyes. Forever.
We had some fun vacations and getaways this fall. Restorative days. At this moment in time our family is intact. Our love is thriving. We have our home and garden, heat and a full freezer, hot water and soft beds. Life is good. Life is sweet. And the bright spots and light places and good memories twist together with the hard parts making strong rope.
Loverby's mom always proclaimed after a bad harvest, "Well, maybe next year will be better."
I don't think it was a bad harvest after all is said and done, but I do hope next year will be better. :)