Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Year In Review

Wowza. You know, every December 31 or so, I've been known to write a letter to myself recapping the year and pondering what the next may bring. Thinking back on previous years, I'm always amazed at how unpredictable they can be - and this one has been no exception.

Think about it. One year ago today, where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing? How were you feeling? What did you expect for the coming year? Fast forward 365 days. How'd ya do with those predictions? Are you in the same place, with the same person, doing the same thing and feeling the same way? Perhaps yes, but probably not.

As you may have gathered if you're a regular Writing - It's My Thing reader, this past year was a roller coaster - full of twists and turns, ups and downs. In fact, it was so topsy-turvy, I, for the first time in I don't know how many years, didn't send out a Christmas newsletter. You know, the ones that highlight how great your kids are and how wonderful life has been for the past year? I joked on my Facebook page that mine would have read like a chapter out of a Stephen King novel. No one would believe it and it would be pretty scary.

See, if I wrote one, I'd want to hit all the highlights, which were pretty much monthly: 

January: High hopes for the new year!

February: My Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl!

March: I put my house of 12 years on the market.

April: My otherwise active and healthy mother is diagnosed with kidney cancer, and has said kidney successfully removed, with no apparent residual cancer. Her recovery - which they said could last as long as nine months - is remarkable - just like her.

May: My oldest son is confirmed, has his First Communion, and graduates from 8th grade. We Kennards like to do our accomplishments in threes.

June: My house sells. My family and I take a trip that opens my eyes and changes my life, and results in me enduring one of the hardest summers I can ever remember. I lose 10 pounds.

July: Both sons celebrate birthdays! I discover that two of my friends have breast cancer, and I am somehow drawn to them even more and they become my inspiration.

August: After three weeks of living out of suitcases, we move into our new home.

September: My oldest starts his freshman year at a brand new school.

October: I get a team together to join a volleyball league at the RiverPlex. I begin to gain back the 10 pounds.

November: I celebrate my one-year anniversary of being employed. My sister-in-law suffers a stroke at a Bears game in Chicago. My mother is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which apparently had nothing to do with the kidney cancer. Neither disease runs in our family. I begin compiling blog material to publish my own book.

December: My book is published! The family unites for a thankful Christmas and braces for Mom's surgery and subsequent chemotherapy starting in January. I start wondering what 2012 will bring, and hope I can write more like Erma Bombeck than Steven King at the end of it all.

Happy New Year to everyone, and may 2012 bring you everything you hope for, and nothing more than God thinks you can handle.

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