Thursday, December 29, 2016

An unPRESIDENTed year ~ shock after shock

My sister Ann with her daughter Amy
This has been an unPRESIDENTed year.

1.    Miriam-Webster chose "surreal" as its word of the year, but the Guardian offered an alternative:  Donald Trump's "unpresidented."  The writer (Adam Gabbatt) offered several definitions of this new word.
  • unpresidented ... An instance of someone being "prepared to say what most of us are thinking," but actually saying things most of us are not thinking.
  • unpresidented ... An irrecoverable act of folly committed by a president.
  • unpresidented ... Feeling of loss when a president who has neither the temperament nor the knowledge to actually be president is elected president, causing one to wonder who will actually be running the country and triggering feelings of malaise and dread.
  • unpresidented ... The state of an impeached president.
And this has been an unprecedented year for me.

2.  On May 16th, I learned that my sister had lung cancer and was under hospice care.  That was the first big shock of the year.

3.  Three days later, I learned that one of my daughters had breast cancer.  I started making plans to get to Tennessee to visit my sister and my daughter.

4.  I'd already spent all of my monthly Social Security check on twice-yearly insurance and the usual needs like food and rent.  So I borrowed cash from a friend to make the trip from St. Louis to Tennessee.  The photo at the top is my sister with her daughter as I was leaving after my last visit with her on July 14th.  As I was backing out of the driveway, I changed my mind and asked for "one more picture" of them together.  It's the last time I would ever see her; she died three weeks later.

5.  When I arrived to provide "after-chemo help" for my daughter with breast cancer, I learned they hadn't done chemo that day, after all, because it wasn't working and the tumor was still growing.  She would need surgery.

6.  After visiting with all three of my children and a few of their offspring, I loaded stuff from a storage unit into my car and headed back to St. Louis.  One of my tires blew a tread before I got to Paducah, Kentucky.  Only about halfway home, I limped into Paducah, where I ran into a tire store as they were locking the door at closing time and bought one tire ― I didn't have enough to pay for four new tires, though they told me my 4-wheel drive vehicle required matching tires or it would ruin the transmission.

7.  Two weeks after I got back, I learned that I couldn't get new tags for my car until I made repairs costing hundreds of dollars, which I didn't have.  Eventually, I borrowed money from another friend ― and was given or offered cash from three or four other wonderful people ― and got three more tires and the auto repairs done.  The stress came with my need to get my loans paid off, slowly, month after month this year.

8.  In the meantime, my daughter had a mastectomy, followed by many sessions of radiation.  She was able to ring the bell to indicate she was still cancer-free after her last radiation treatment.  Reconstructive surgery comes in 2017.

9.  My sister died in August.  I had not yet gotten the car repaired and (obviously) could not drive it back to Tennessee for her funeral.  My daughter couldn't attend because of her surgery, and her mother-in-law also died in August while she was still recuperating.  That means two of my grandchildren lost their other grandmother.

10.  My sixth great-grandchild was born in November and had trouble breathing.  She was in the hospital for over a week before her mother could actually hold her and cuddle her.  A month later, she was back in the hospital with meningitis.  And now she's been diagnosed with a mild hip dysplasia and must wear a contraption 23 hours a day for 7 weeks and then just at night for 4 weeks.

11.  My other daughter's first mother-in-law died, so another two of my grandchildren lost their other grandmother.  That daughter's present in-laws had to evacuate during the horrible fires in and around Gatlinburg recently, not knowing if the house would still be standing when they were allowed to return home.  It was still there, thank goodness, but hundreds of other homes and businesses were destroyed.

12.  I learned that my son's godmother had died the previous Sunday.  She had been my best friend 50 years ago, and I tried to call her on her birthday in August.  Their number had changed, and I didn't reach her.

13.  I've gotten to the last of the Thursday Thirteen numbers, so here's the rest ot the bad stuff.
  • I slipped in the bathtub, when the suction mat slid as I reached for the bar.  I landed on my back and lay very still, trying to assess what might be broken.  I had banged my hip and ribs on the side of the tub, but the hurt must have been deep inside, since I never showed a bruise.  As far as I can tell, nothing was broken, though I still feel twinges when I twist or sleep the wrong way.  It's been achy for weeks now.
  • My ambassador died.  To explain:  Crown Center assigns new residents an "ambassador" to help us learn what's available, how we go about doing this or that, and generally get to know the place and some of the people here.  Marillyn was my ambassador and also ate at the same table I did when we both went down for dinner on the same evening.  She'd been in the hospital, but not for long, so we were NOT expecting to hear that she had died.  The death of friends is not easy, and people we live with in this retirement center are at the age that we experience it much more often than before moving here.
  • I've been absolutely astounded at Trump's win.  His words and actions seem to confirm what I saw online recently, that he's a "super callous, fragile racist, extra braggadocious."  Every single thing he says is something quite atrocious!  If you say this loud enough his sheep become ferocious!  SuperCallousFragileRacist ExtraBraggadocious!
  • On Facebook, I recently experienced a couple of trolls who were not "friends of friends."  I don't know who they were or where they came from, but they arrived to call us (me and my friends) names for comments we made on one of my posts ― about wearing a safety pin, if you can believe it.  When a third troll came out of the woodwork, I deleted the whole thread ― the whole post with all its comments.  And now I've decided to "delete" Facebook from my life.  I'll probably get on occasionally to look for new pictures of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, which was my reason for being on Facebook in the first place.  Otherwise, I need a break from the negativity.
I've had enough of this "unprecedented" year and just want it to end.

The only rule for Thursday Thirteen is to write about 13 things.  The New Thursday 13 is hosted by Country Dew @ Blue Country Magic and Colleen @ Loose Leaf Notes.  If you want to read lists by other people or play along yourself, here's the linky for this week.

Update (12-31-16):
I found this photo on Facebook of the family at Christmas.
 In it are my 3 children and their 3 spouses, my 7 grandchildren
and spouses of the 2 who are married, and my 6 great-grandchildren.
Plus my children's stepmother, her son, his wife, and 2 children.
That's 26 people! Click to enlarge the photo to see the babies.

Update (1-29-17):
I forgot my concern when Jaxon had salmonella food poisoning in October.  He's the little fellow standing down front in the Christmas picture.  I was reminded about it today when I saw Jaxon's answer #2 about "salmonella sickness."


Madge said...

So sorry this past year was pretty sad for you. But you are still here and still writing. I hope 2017 is a year filled with hope, joy, good health and healing for your family.

colleen said...

Wow, what a year! I lost my sister November 2015 to cancer and my mom in April of this year. About Trump, I have to think it was stolen because I just can't believe that that many Americans would ignore the obvious about him. Now I fear for us all. I'm glad to see you did a TT! I hope you continue. It helps keep the few of us that still blog in touch.

Helen's Book Blog said...

What a year 2016 was for you! I am so sorry to hear about all the loss and stress. I do hope your daughter is feeling better (my mother had 3 friends get breast cancer this year, but at least they are all post-menopausal so they will be okay). For me, 2016 was personally good. But, I agree that the Trump issue is beyond devastating. I can't even watch the news anymore because I get too depressed with his idiotic statements. He is such a vindictive narcissistic child! Okay, enough negativity. I do hope 2017 is better for you and your family!