I really didn’t know how to title this post today. I kind of thought of 10 years since we are going to start a new decade soon but that seemed kind of vague. I thought of using the word prompt “mixed feelings” but finally decided on GROWTH.
2009 was not a good year for me but fully represents the prompt for today. Christmas 2008 was wonderful. My Dad was healthy, my brother got engaged and we had something to look forward to as a family after a lot of heartache. Unfortunately early 2009 my Dad learned that his tumour grew back. It was a physically and emotionally trying time for me but I also learned a lot about myself. I had to take care of the yardwork for my Dad and a lot of stuff around the house. I had to stick up for myself and I learned that meant being selfish. At the end of the year my Mom and I went on a cruise…putting our needs ahead of others. In less than 3 years we went from a family of 5 to a family of 2 which made my bond with my Mom stronger.

I started this blog in 2014 but didn’t really write diligently until 2015. I wrote in a journal soon after Janet died. It was a way to express feelings that I couldn’t talk about to anyone else. But I learned a lot about myself while doing it. I would write down something that I knew in my head but writing it down in black and white made it so much clearer. I had someone tell me that she was so surprised when she found out that I wrote a blog because Janet and I were so quiet. My coffee buddy told me “yeah, that person is long gone”. I don’t think I would even recognize that person now. There was a time where that sentence would have made me so sad. I wanted to be the same person I was before. But that’s impossible. We should grow. Although I’ve come to realize in life that not everyone does. In the subsequent years since my Dad died I have lost a lot of friends. I used to think it was me but came to realize that in most instances we just grew apart. The things that we once had in common just aren’t there anymore. Growing older has some advantages because I’ve come to realize that friends should be people I enjoy spending time with. Someone I can share things with. Quality not quantity.

When I moved in 2016 I could see a change in myself. It was evident in pictures that I posted on Facebook because my friends told me I looked happy. For the first time in my life the only person I had to worry about was myself. I could make decisions FOR MYSELF. For someone that was a caregiver and had lost 3 very important family members that was HUGE. I also learned that I couldn’t change to please other people. The daughter of a woman from the church I grew up in told me at her Mom’s visitation that it took her years to learn that.

The past 10 years have been a mixed bag. Here’s hoping 2020 is a whole lot better than 2019!!

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