This year has indeed been a challenge... One in which I was SURE I wouldn't survive, but here I am. On my own two feet even. Back in April my uncle Will acted like he had a bad flu for two days... on the third he woke up with stroke-like symptoms, and my Aunt called the ambulance to get him. In the Emergency Room he was diagnosed with liver and kidney failure, and was throwing up blood in large amounts. For 12 days he fought and fought trying to get better, and was even making small improvements... May 1, 2013 he passed away from ultimate heart failure. I shattered to bits. I stopped eating, drinking and feeling. It felt like my world fell to pieces all in an instant. Ten days after his passing, I was in the hospital myself through the Emergency Department with chest pains. It felt like a heart attack that was lasting for DAYS. In hindsight, it was just the heartbreak and sorrow from Uncle Will's passing, but at the time.... it felt like my heart was trying to stop. I went through a series of tests all with them trying to make sure that I WASN'T actually dying.. and was FINALLY able to go home 10 hours after my admittance.
    For the next couple of weeks I tried to put on my brave face and tried to be more "human" for everyone else... not to mention... my father was getting remarried at the end of May and I was expected to attend. (Like I would miss it for the world) After nearly an entire month of being half human, and feeling like I wasn't going to make it... my now stepmom said something I'll never forget. She told me that loss is a part of life, but it's how we deal with it that makes us better. I appreciated that so much. So... on May 25th my father was remarried, and I FINALLY got a mom. Three days later, my father was in Tampa for spinal surgery. He had a nerve wrapped around his spine that needed to be fixed. Being that he was the only parent I had really loved for my previous 26 years of life... I was a wreck.
    When he came out of surgery and we were in recovery... the nurse let me hug him first. She knew how much of a bad messy wreck I was, and knew that bit of comfort would help me. It did. I am so glad to report though that he is now up and running at 100% again, and even is back to work where he has to climb stairs! SO the surgery was a success without complications, and the surgical center took such great care of him.
    My Aunt (Uncle Will's late wife) now has a new home and is FINALLY settling in. She has anxiety problems now, and we suspect she has PTSD from losing Uncle Will after 22 years of marriage. And so abruptly, she was in the room when his heart stopped. BUT! Now she has a home and she is settling in nicely. I get to see her often and I am very close in case she needs help, I'm here.
    As for me... this year I graduated from college with High Honors, I was ALMOST the Valedictorian (.01 grade points away) even though I was a zombie at the commencement. (I was still in the grieving process) I have picked my knitting and crochet back up finally, and have been on a roll with that. PLUS, I'm considering going back to school to get my Bachelors of Arts in Healthcare Administration. I am also in the market for a job. I'm hoping to be working by the time I go back to school, but it doesn't always work that way. Other than that, there haven't been many changes to report. I'm still operating my website as Owner/Operator/Supplier etc etc... so feel free to come check me out over there too.
If you've read all of this.. thank you, and I hope it wasn't a trigger, but a tale of hope for you.