I distinctly remember telling Daryl sometime last spring, that 2008 would be a year that we would look back on as a year we survived.Â How little did I know then, that that would seem soooo true by the end of the year.
Yesterday, while walking down our driveway in deep snow, in rubber boots, I had a flash back that almost made me turn around and go back in the house as fast as I could.Â It was one year ago, the first Monday in January, that I had ventured out in 4 inches of fresh snow to get paint for our new house and a pregnancy test.Â I didn't make it far before I found myself on my rear-end, hearing my knee make this sickening snapping sound.Â That's how my 2008 started out - strained ligaments, a house to paint, and finding out that I was pregnant. Â With the help of friends, and Daryl, and the kids, we did get the house painted.Â My knee healed slowly (I wasn't completely free from pain until the middle of summer).
We started moving into our new home in March, and finished moving out of the mobile home sometime in April.Â I never did get all the trim painted...and cleaning out the mobile was a "whole nother story".Â It took weeks of hard work to get caught up on business "stuff", and the summer was zooming by.Â We had to sell the mobile home, and that just wasn't working out.Â We had a deadline to meet and it was fast approaching.Â On every turn it seemed there was difficulties - major non-cosmetic orthodontist work needed to be done on 3 kids, 2 little ones needing to have major dental repair with a pediodontist, a broken foot, a hole in Rachel's back that needed stitches,Â building permits/inspections, getting the exterior of the house painted, and then boom...I'm on bed rest for high blood pressure for some strange reason.
By the beginning of September, I thought we had gone through the most difficult 8 months ever...and if I could just get through this labor and delivery, life could get on into a normal pattern once again.
Boy was I ever wrong....we hadn't seen anything yet!
Esther's life threatening birth, and subsequent 5 1/2 weeks stay at St Joes, and then at Children's was just not what I expected.Â Those were long weeks ofÂ waiting...for what we weren't quite sure, except we wanted to take her home and get back to life as usual again.Â Then, we did make it home.Â But it wasn't life as usual - it was caring for a fragile baby with a difficult medication regimine and feeding her wasn't easy either.Â We tried to find a new normal, only it seems to be always out of reach - every day something different got in the way.
Then, just when things were seemingly smoothing out (I caught up with laundry, had put on a decent Thanksgiving celebration, and had most of the Christmas decorations up), the bottom fell out again.Â Just after hearing that an old friend's husband had died suddenly, we were back in the hospital.Â Two home trials soon were failed and we faced that fact that Esther couldn't go home until her heart was fixed. I missed our friend's memorial service.
The day Esther got transferred to Children's, even as we passed through ER to get in the ambulance, my favorite Uncle Vern was fighting for his life with a life threatening stroke - I passed just a few feet from him without knowing it!
Esther's open heart surgery was scheduled just as we heard that Uncle Vern had passed away - they were scheduled for the same day.Â both were rescheduled, but again on the same day.Â I guess I wasn't meant to attend his memorial service either.
Just when the year was winding down, and I was facing the hardest day of my life, it got harder.Â On the eve of Esther's surgery, I got a call from my sister, as she had driven herself to ER and the doctors said that dreaded word...cancer.Â That was indeed the most difficult night of my life.
Esther's surgery went wonderfully, and before the year wound down, she was out of ICU, and we got to ring in the New Year in Esther's room on "the floor".
So, what do you think?Â Will we look back later and say "2008...the year we survived"?Â I'm sure we will, but I'm hoping we will also look back and say "2008...the year we learned to trust God, even in the storm".