2016 – A Year in Review

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Todd and I finally got our vacation! We took several days at the beach and had a wonderful time.

Veruca finished her last year in elementary school and began her middle school career. Much to my surprise, she returned to Cheer again last fall. After struggling for the last two years like a small boat in a perfect storm, her academic performance this school year is off the charts. I couldn’t be more proud. She seems to be taking school a lot more seriously, even as the social scene takes off. She made new friends this year, notably two other Type 1 girls, who fully embraced her even though she doesn’t want to be a part of the all-diabetes, all-the-time, channel.

My baby boy began his 10th grade year starting in football, and moved around a bit until he found his success in defense. I was thrilled to hear his name announced during games, and more thrilled that he finished the season unscathed. He also turned 16, and I marveled at how quickly that happened. He doesn’t have his permit or a girlfriend yet, and I’m not bringing any of that up. He made distinguished honors in an all-honors curriculum, during a busy football season.

I am still working in the restaurant business. It’s not quite a fate worse than death but, after resisting the reality for the last 30 years that I’m actually good at it, I accepted the fact that I might never fully escape. At least until Mom retires. Meanwhile, I took on grant writing and research with the college and have met some amazing people.

I paid off my legal fees. That is all.

I watched with a slowly dwindling sense of humor the course of the presidential election. I got sucked into a handful of volatile FB posts and watched friends and family slinging mud and calling names. I was unfriended by someone who I’m convinced is either completely delusional or an alcoholic, or both. It really bothered me, as these things do, but in retrospect I’ll defer to her oft-used quote that the trash took itself out. This was a year for removing offensive people from my friends list.

I didn’t fulfill my JDRF Ride plan, but I did attend the gala in April and continued to volunteer my help to the new School Management of Diabetes Guidelines for Maryland, which took more time to complete than anticipated. I believe these guidelines are set to roll out very shortly. We also had our annual fundraiser at the restaurant in September, topping our donations from the prior year. The art show didn’t receive the attention it required to be a success and so was scrapped in the eleventh hour.

We had my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary party in our backyard on a picture-perfect day in June. The catering came from the restaurant and the music by Mr. Entertainment, Bobby Newton. It was a beautiful event that I wasn’t the slightest bit nervous about, but the professional in me saw flaws in the execution that made me nuts (which I’m sure no one else noticed). My mother-in-law looked stunning in the most beautiful dress and was every bit the happy bride all day, which made all the hard work worth every minute.

2016 was a banner Exit year for far too many big-time celebrities. Sadly, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Nancy Reagan, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Doris Roberts, Afeni Shakur Davis, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Buddy Ryan, Elie Weisel, Garry Marshall, Kenny Baker, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, William Christopher (MASH’s Father Mulcahy). I left some out.

And then there was Prince. I am still reeling from the shock. Veruca was playing music from our MP3 list last night and she put on Purple Rain “for you,” she said. And it made me cry. A friend of mine posted on FB a week ago, “my youth died in 2016.”

The biggest personal loss of 2016 was Pi. She would have been 16 on December 17th this year, but she left us in August. She was a great dog. Sabra, meanwhile, took nearly two months to recover from this loss, but today she is back to her old self – a super sweetheart who knows her special place in our house.

My ex got remarried. She’s lovely, and I’m genuinely happy for him. Really.

Finally, in a heart-stopping, breathtaking, shocking, offensive, almost laughable, seemingly impossible presidential win… Donald Trump takes home the prize. What becomes of the U.S. and our democracy, is anyone’s guess… and there are more than a handful of outspoken #notmypresident folks who are waiting for a miracle.

But the good news is, Betty White is still alive and we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I worked on the last night of the year, as I always do, and rang in the New Year with my man and one of my very best friends, hugged about 20 people, and nearly peed myself with helium-infused songs.

So here’s to 2017… may it be full of surprises and re-affirmations.

 

 

 

 

 

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