I used to be a Christmas letter writer. I loved receiving others' letters; I loved writing my own. Then I began to understand that for some, Christmas letters are about as welcome as drugstore fruitcake.
To each his own fruitcake. My personal fruitcake is the perennial classic, "White Christmas," which most people can't understand my aversion to. Have I mentioned once or twice that I don't like musicals?
Anyway, here is my letter for 2011, because for our family, it was quite a year, and I'd like to record it for posterity. And because I try to publish these favorite pics whenever/wherever I can. I'm a mom; sue me.
In the beginning of 2011, my father was diagnosed with an odd cancer located in an odd place (outer thigh) with an odd diagnose: serious. Thus, my parents' lives were turned upside down as they began to deal with decisions and treatments and surgeries, complications, wounds, recoveries.
In addition, after a rush to the ER for stomach ailments a couple of weeks ago, my mother has been diagnosed with heart damage due to a small heart attack. Now we are dealing with decisions, treatments, etc., for her, as well. It has not been a good year for my parents.
However, I am happy to report that they just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on December 16. I am so happy for them and proud of them for being such a good example to me and everyone within their sphere of influence over the years. Well done, my sweet parents!
Also in May, our youngest, Kristin, graduated from Delta High School with honors. She is now a freshman at Anderson University. As soon as we graduate one kid from AU, we sign up another because we love to throw suitcases full of money at AU. We are actually very grateful that we can send them there because each of our children has loved the experience. Kristin may love it even more than the other two. She is undecided about her major, but her humorous shenanigans are being well-noted by her dorm mates.
In June, our first-born, Katie, married her long-time beau, Shad, who has a really cool name, I think. They appear to be happier than any newlywed couple I've ever seen in my life, to the extent that I asked her point-blank one day, "Are you two really as happy as you appear to be?" A smile broke out on her face that I will never forget, and she said, "Yes, yes we are. We are just so happy to see each other when one comes in the door." Thank you, God, for a wonderful answer to a life-long prayer of her dad and me. She continues to work at ASon's, and Shad is completing his senior year at BSU. They are moving into a new home New Year's Eve.
George continues to work at Ontario Systems and volunteer with Kids Hope at Longfellow Elementary. His student has come a long since the beginning of his kindergarten year and is now showing signs of anticipating George's weekly visits.
I am in my 8th year at Oneighty, where I continue to type the wrong year on documents, forget to put postage on outgoing mail and explode things in the microwave. I think they'll keep me another 8 years, no problem.
Maybe the biggest miracle of all is that I am totally comfortable having them in our home long-term, because if you know me, you know that that is a totally foreign, uncomfortable situation. I just do not do guests well. I can't explain this, but that quirk of mine has disappeared. Poof. Miracle.
Of course, there are emotional risks involved in this situation; we are not blind or naive, but are trusting that no matter how this turns out, that for this time, our home is the perfect place for them. And so we have welcomed with our whole hearts Crystal, Josiah and Laylah. This will be a Christmas we will never forget.