I came into 2014 filled with optimism, happiness, looking forward to a wonderful year ahead. I had even picked a "Word for 2014" and was looking forward to seeing that bought into our life. Well, 2014 proved to be the WORST year of my life! A recap of my year, month by month.
January started with BITTER cold and ugly weather. The weather was so cold here that someone coined the word "Chiberia" and Chicago Public Schools closed for 2 days, which followed by almost all schools in Chicagoland area closing for 2 days.
January 6th was the first below Zero HIGH temp for the day and also the day we began having issues with our one and only vehicle. Harlin was driving to work and it began overheating BAD. He made it to and from work that day, but it was a struggle. We decided it probably was best not to drive it until we got it looked at. Harlin was able to get rides to and from work during the BITTER cold. We would eventually find out that the Head Gasket blew on the van. We use mobile mechanics and would not be able to get the van fixed until Mid-February when the funds were available and our mobile mechanic had a garage to work from. January was difficult because we were without a vehicle until Mid-February. The BITTER cold and 33" of snow that fell that month made for difficulty getting around and even doing basic things like getting groceries. THANKFULLY, friends and family helped us by taking us grocery shopping or Harlin stopped at Aldi, across the street on his way home from the bus stop.
I had made a decision on which "Healthy Lifestyle" plan I wanted to work on and requested a book "Trim Healthy Mama" from our local Library on January 15th. The Library system of 80 libraries only had 2 copies in the system and there were 6 requests for the book.
My life would come to a screeching HALT when I received the most devasting and life changing news EVER. My Wonderful, AWESOME, Dad passed away unexpectedly on February 4, 2014. My Dad had been in a nursing home since May 4th, 2013 but we thought he was doing soo much better. He was on 3 day a week dialysis since 2007 and he missed going to Dialysis on Monday February 3rd because he wasn't feeling well. I did talk to him on Monday, but he didn't tell me he hadn't gone to dialysis. The nursing home and my Dad called my mom at 2:30am on Tuesday the 4th as he was being transferred to the hospital. My Dad ultimately had a heart attack on his way to the hospital and his heart just gave out. He was only 62yrs old and he was an AMAZING Dad and all around person.
Here is what I wrote on Facebook that day:
Today has been the HARDEST day of my life. My Dad passed away early this morning.
My Dad was the Kindest, Gentlest, BIG Hearted man. He was a HARD worker and LOVED his family, friends and LOVED talking to people he met "on the street". My dad taught me, my boys and many others, and taught by example one of the GREATEST lessons ever: Give to others and take care of others before yourself. I will miss those daily, even up to several times a day, phone calls. He had the BIGGEST smile and could make anyone smile and laugh with him. He was an encourager and all around GREAT DAD!!
My Dad LOVED the Eagle. I am reminded of this verse today:
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
He is running and not weak, he is walking with ease and no cane anymore. My dad SOARED to Heaven today and until we meet again: I LOVE YOU DAD!
Saturday, February 8th we had a Visitation and Service for my Dad and it was very well attended, even though there was a snowstorm the entire day. I am VERY grateful for all you supported our family during that week and the weeks and months to come.
The rest of February was a blur. We did get our van fixed and the head gasket replaced around February 15th and that was a blessing to have our vehicle back in working order.
I began a "mentoring relationship" with someone from our church. She and I meet a couple times a month and she has been an encouragement to me for this entire year, even through the trials of 2014.
Nothing else significant happened in March or nothing that I can recall. March was still a blur and I was still very heartbroken over the loss of my Dad. I continued to wait for the "healthy Lifestyle" book to come to the library and was in touch with the library often in regards to the hold up.
April was a VERY difficult month. My Dad would have been 63 on April 12th. My mom, siblings, grandkids, spouses and I all got together and visited the Cemetery where my Dad's parents and many other relatives are buried. My sister had picked up my Dad's ashes that day before coming to the Cemetary. We "buried" some of my Dad's ashes at the foot of his parents headstones. We all shared our favorite memories of my Dad. Very windy day, but a BEAUTIFUL sunshine day. We went back to my mom's place where we ordered Pizza and had Pepsi, one of my Dad's favorite meals.
We received our Income Tax Refund and we took care of some annual payments and more. I bought my own copy of "Trim Healthy Mama" and also ordered some of the items needed/wanted to make the lifestyle change happen. I also went shopping at Costco and Sam's Club for healthy groceries and more.
I began coming out of my "hiding" in April and getting energy back.
I began what would be about 2 months of Drs. Appointments and check ups and blood work. I always do yearly blood work and more due to the health issues in our family history. I see my Primary Doctor and a couple of Specialists to check up on a few things.
I began the "Trim Healthy Mama" lifestyle change on May 12th and it has been wonderful. Trim Healthy Mama is a simple plan to follow and I don't ever feel like I am on a "diet". It is NOT a diet as it is a Long Term, Lifestyle change.
June started out OK, but the middle of the month bought sorrow and grief once again. June 15th, Fathers Day, I was "talking" to my cousin via Facebook on how she was doing as we both lost our Dad's within that year and it was our first Father's Day without our dads. Later that evening I would receive a message from her sister that Erin had been rushed to the hospital and was in critical condition. 24 hours later my 39yr old cousin passed away from undetected heart blockage. Erin Kathleen and I were always VERY close growing up and I have AWESOME memories of her and I. She is truly missed.
July things were starting to look GREAT. We had started to take care of things for our household and began a mission(to revealed hopefully in 2015) and I was getting back into our routine.
Our household came to a screeching halt once again on July 18th when a family member decided to make a phone call that could have destroyed our household. I am glad the phone call was filled with LIES and UNTRUTHS, as this "BULLY" was only being spiteful. I knew that even though the actions of this family member were spiteful, I needed to forgive them for their actions, even through the whole TRIAL of their action of making a lied filled phone call. I choose to do that and continue to do so. We would ultimately be put through 2 months of CRAZY stuff and proving the phone call was made up of LIES and Spitefulness. We succeeded in proving the family member was being Spiteful and made up a BUNCH of lies. God is GOOD to our family and we had him on our side!!
We had to keep "low key" this month as we continued the battle that was bought on by a family member who was spiteful.
We began our routine for the year and things were going smoothly. We awaited the word on the outcome of the Phone Call filled with lies and we received the notice on Sept. 19th that we were CLEARED!! God is GOOD!
Sept 20th, I was gone for the entire day and come home to find that our Main PC had CRASHED!! I tried everything I could to revive it, but couldn't. I started using the boys computer in the front room, but it just isn't the same. I was glad for my phone and tablet as I still had wifi access in our household.
October was a good month! My BIL found an AWESOME Mini-Van for a WONDERFUL price and helped us secure it and helped us make it a "new to us" vehicle. We had expressed interest in getting a "new to us" vehicle in the Spring, but he helped make it happen way sooner! I put our 2000 Oldsmobile Silohoutte for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp. I priced it at $1,200 as our goal was to get $1,000. 2 weeks after posting the van for sale, it sold for $1,000. The girl who purchased it had NO vehicle and her dad is a mechanic and could help with the "quirky" little repairs it still needed.
We did find someone to take a look at our main PC. He is a friend of a friend. He at first thought it was not recoverable, but he tinkered with it some more and recovered all our Files and got it up and running again. Cost $150. We havent' been able to pick it up yet, as the funds are not there, but we soon will.
October 27th our Router DIED so we had NO internet access at home now. We purchased a new router a week later but still could not get things to connect. Wifi was not consistent and there was NO internet to the boys PC.
We were without internet access ALL month as we still couldn't get the router working properly.
Broken family relationships would come this month, broken as in disowned. The broken relationships were not my call, but once it happened it released a lot of anxiety and more and gave me a sense of relief. Sometimes getting "toxic people" from your life is a WONDERFUL thing! The "Bully" was bullied and didn't like it and disowned family.
My BIL would call and say "I have an opportunity for you and Harlin. He had another GREAT vehicle at another GREAT price. This vehicle would become Harlin's vehicle and a second car for the family. Having a Second car has been wonderful. We were thinking about second car come Spring, but it happened now and it has been AWESOME.
Thanksgiving Day: We spent it at home, just the 5 of us and I liked it that way. Low Key day with lots of memories.
WOOHOO!! Harlin had someone from church come over and get our new router up and running. We still don't have our Main PC back from the repair guy, but the boys CPU is being used as the main PC right now. We now have FULL internet access.
Christmas Day: The boys didn't get everything they wanted from their list, we would need mega money for that to happen. We had a good day and went to dinner at Harlin's Brothers place.
New Years Eve: We are having our traditional New Years Eve. Finger Foods and Snacks, Watching Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve and local countdown coverage and having fun today at home!
2014 has had more Trials then I have ever had in my Life. 2014 has been a BAD year for many, including myself, and I have been wanting it to be over since March. I am glad to see 2014 come to an END!!
I am not making any Resolutions or promises for 2015, as 2014 taught me our best laid plans are not God's plan. I can make promises and resolutions, but God's plan will always come to fruition before our plans. I am praying for God to move in our life next year and help us have an AWESOME year! We do have some Goals that we would like to achieve next year, but we have to follow God's plan and if our goals align with his plans, it will all happen!!