Friday, December 30, 2011

2011- Year of the Roller Coaster

*image from

Please buckle the safety belt and pull the bar down firmly to your lap until it clicks.  Keep all appendages inside the car for the duration of the ride and secure any loose personal belongings.

It should come as no surprise to you that I enjoy roller amusement a lifestyle, not so much. This past year and a significant portion of the previous year were complete roller coasters.  At times it seemed like a combo pack of roller coaster and spinning teacups (which I loathe entirely, they make me feel like vomiting)

The year opened with chronic mystery illness and a new scary health event  Oh yeah, baby!  Throw those hands up and scream your head off as the coaster car hits the first drop hard!  Heading into the curves we have outrageous arguments with car AND health insurance companies playing the "Not my problem" game.  We have a series of twists, loops, hills, and drops the entire school year never knowing what to expect with Calypso.  Throw in a few more big hills with perilous drops with each specialist we see and one who turns out to be just plain evil. When you think you're about to pull into the straightaway at the end we're going to surprise you with one more upside down loop by threatening graduation.  Just to keep the view interesting all along the way let's add one person loosing a Driver's license, another dropping out of college, hitting a deer, a car crapping out permanently, and just so the year could get its last dig in...a death in the family this week.

Lord have mercy, I want off this ride! Enough! Really!  Just let me go sit on a park bench with my head between my knees for a few minutes.

I stagger to the bench and assume the position.  Moaning, I am sure I'm going to toss my cookies just when I am nudged by someone sitting next to me who offers a bit of refreshment.  If this past year was one of seemingly unrelenting trials it's also one when I was given so much encouragement, love, and support from people and places I never expected.  If the trials were the heart-stopping drops and nauseating twists of the roller coaster, friends were the exhilarating high points or the soothing straightaways.  From one friend who is a licensed counselor and came to teach some anxiety managing techniques to us all, to all the friends who helped Mr. Lime get where he needed to be for six months of not having a driver's license, to those of you who kept in contact and provided encouragement and laughs through dark days, to Susie and those who responded to her request on my daughter's behalf, I do not know how I would have survived without the kindness and love of faithful friends.

Then there were the joyous times spent with friends in contexts not related to crisis at all.  Getting to meet Susie and Logo in Seattle was such a wonderful trip.  The provision of a free airline ticket, Mr. Lime's idea that I go, having vacation days left to have enough time, all of it worked together to make for a fantastically memorable time I never would have thought possible just one year ago.

And now I am coming off the time spent with my Trini family.  Far too many years passed without us being able to see each other but what pure joy it was to spend the holidays together and make memories that will last a lifetime. I have hope that much less time will pass before we can be reunited again.

Of course there are also the blessings within the family.  Seeing Calypso well again is high on the list, not just well enough to get through a regular day but strong enough to get through days involving heavy labor on a daily basis.  She's also come out more confident in her abilities to endure and the provision of God as well as more sensitive to folks around her who are suffering in various ways.  Though she had the exquisite pain of friends who left her in her darkest hour she also has the joy of knowing the ones who endured are as true as they come.  Mr. Lime has clean bills of health and seems to be well.  He has a new openness to my online friendships for which I am grateful.  Isaac has grown (Boy howdy, has he grown!  He hit 6'2" before his 16th birthday!) in ways I did not expect and has begun taking some initiative or at least helping out more willingly now that he's the only Limelet left at home.  Diana is learning some hard lessons from some of her own decisions but seems to be handling them.

I have to admit, most of those good things would not have been as evident or occurred at all if the trials hadn't come so the roller coaster had its purpose.  I can be thankful for that and I am, truly.

Nonetheless, my adrenals are a bit taxed and I would not mind at all if 2012 were the year of the carousel.  Just let me ride along and enjoy the sights to rest a bit and I'll grab for the brass ring when it comes around.
 *image from here


S said...

Ok you are making me cry.....
Lime, when do we get a signed copy of your book you should be writing?
Really, really, you are so very good at words, that I am running for tissues.....

happy New Year my dear friend, I am honoured to have met you finally and also to have helped make a difference in something so incredibly important as the health of your beautiful child.

Happy happy happy mubarak( happy again!) new year Michelle!!!

G-Man said...

Happy New Year!!!

Craig said...

Happy New Year, Michelle!

I remember thinking, as things were spiralling around you, how can she hold up under all this, boom-boom, one after another. The Universe threw you some real haymakers this year. (I even posted a cartoon in your honor.)

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger (at least, that's the theory. . .)

(The dropping-out-of-college thing? Been there, done that. Very survivable. But no less anxiety-provoking. . .)

Anyway - {{{hugs}}} - You made it!

Bijoux said...

One of my best friends had a very similar year (two daughters with severe health problems, hospitalizations, etc) and a college dropout (after receiving a .4 gpa). She texted me yesterday that one of the kids had just run over a fire hydrant with her car. Needless to say, she is excited to say farewell to 2011.

Wishing you a much better 2012, Lime.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Well let's just say here's to a better new year!

silly rabbit said...

Happy New Year lime and family! You had a crazy year, but are left with the blessing of knowing how much you mean to each other, big gifts of friendship, health and I suspect true happiness. Blessings to you all.

lecram said...

Yep... one of those years. The trials and challenges DO make us appreciate the "saunter" times.

Have a good one, my friend.

Dave said...

Sorry that you and your family had such a tough year, for those many reasons Michelle, but glad that you have come through them OK.
There have been many bad things that have happened around the world in 2011. Let's all hope that 2012 is a better year - Dave

Kat said...

Yes, you have had a crazy year. And everything happened for a reason. BUT I still hope you have a very calm, relaxing, smooth sailing 2012. :)
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

i got sick just looking at the roller coaster...

here's to a peaceful and (much) less traumatic 2012.

Jocelyn said...

I am teary, too, at the end here. There is something to all this. I hope that in ten years, you can look back at this time of trial and see how absolutely it all had to happen in order for y'all to reap the unexpected rewards that came later. Oh yes. Oh my.

secret agent woman said...

Oh, you and me both. I'm ready to have a less wild ride this year!

Suldog said...

As you wisely point out, we sometimes need the trials so that we can know just exactly where we stand. From my vantage point (and, apparently, yours) you appear blessed. Here's hoping for a less-bumpy year to enjoy the blessings!

Hilary said...

Wishing you and yours a beautiful, peaceful, exciting-in-the-good-way year. Hugs.