This is a bit of a pensive Jack’s Walk. 2018 was a long difficult year and now that it’s over I’ll tell you that I feel winded by it all. The loss of Caine hit me hard, it hit all of us hard, and it seemed after that that things kept piling on. Personally, mother-in-law was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had her right kidney removed. Mr. V’s heart condition worsened and the swelling in his legs caused calf ulcers that won’t heal. My mother developed congestive heart failure and refused to take the medicine because she didn’t want the inconvenience of peeing out all the extra fluid (Mom can be a pip.) Jack had a big, expensive surgery and a very close friend was diagnosed with liver failure. She’s still waiting to see the specialist, but it’s likely she will need a liver transplant. Sometime during all of that (between August and December) I developed shingles. That’s not new, I get shingles a few times a year, but this time they’ve persisted. One patch clears up and another erupts. It’s enough to make you feel like the minion above. Face planted.
Time has already fixed a few things. My mother-in-law is thriving after surgery. She’s 92, lives alone and is as active as any 50-year-old. She bakes, she cleans, she irons, she walks and she even has a new beau who sends her little notes and flowers. My mother now has a catheter in place and she’s gotten rid of all the extra fluid with no peeing required. Jack is happier than ever now that Larry (the lump) is gone. His gait is as good as it was when he was young and he prances when he’s happy. Mr. V has only one small ulcer left to heal. That may take some time, but it’s definitely improving. His heart is stable and still as beautiful as ever.
And look. That minion might be down, but he isn’t out. He’s still got his wind and even more importantly he still has friends. How lucky. Me too. This past year something profound happened in my life and that is Affinity. I’ve been around since the beginning, but I lurked. I just didn’t feel confident enough to participate. Caine kept encouraging me, though, and so I finally joined the comments and even sent in a photo or two. When she became ill I was still fairly new to all of you, but I wanted to help Caine so I took the chance and stepped forward and what I found was a community who welcomed me. All of you have added to my life.
So last year brought some very good things, too. Like all years I suppose, with their measures of bad and good not always equal, but always both. I try to focus on the good because I prefer to live in gratitude. So, this seems like the proper place to end with Jack and I both looking at the pluses of life and prancing into 2019.