2010 started out as a hellacious year.
A few days into the new year, my beloved grandmother died. She was 90, and was very sick and her death was expected, but it was hard for me. She was my last grandparent, and I had been close to her. Two days after she died, my cousin's 16 year old daughter was tragically killed in a horrible car accident. As much as my grandmother's death upset me, it was her time. For my teenage cousin, it was so horrific that even now, almost a full year later I am tearing up just typing this. The rest of January was a blur----I was sick, the kids were sick, my family was grieving, and I remember desperately wishing that the year would just get over with. It had only been one month into 2010, and I thought things would never get better.
But better they got. In fact, the deaths in my family aside (and I know it's hard to put aside, but I also need to look at the GOOD), this year has the best ever, especially for me and my daughter, A. To recap:
In January, my daughter, A, started walking unassisted at age 3 1/2 . With all of her medical issues, not the least of which was a lack of semicircular canals, which are the part of the inner ear which control balance, it's amazing that she is walking at all. I also began training for a half marathon, the first race of any major distance I'd trained for since 2003.
In March I turned 40....looking and feeling better than I ever have. I also got diagnosed with migraines that month...which was great because I've been suffering from them for years and now with a diagnoses I could get prescription medications that work.
In April A did her first race...a 50 yard toddler trot that even a few months before would have been unimaginable. It was also my son, D's, first race. He did the 1/2 mile run.
In June I got inspired to not only train for a half marathon, but to also start triathlon training. As I was not a swimmer or biker, this was a stretch for me. This started a workout routine for me that had me biking, swimming or running every day. And to this day, I exercise daily, unless I am sick or have some other extenuating circumstances.
In July we got the surprise of our life when not only her feeding tube was removed but also her breathing tube. A had no tubes in her body for the first time since she was 2 days old.
In August I completed my first half marathon since 1999, the America's Finest City Half, and beat my time from 11 years before.
In September I did the Disneyland Half Marathon, again beating my time.
In October I did my first two triathlons: the Mission Bay Triathlon and the Fearless Triathlon (which was a double sprint).
In November A stepped up and down a curb for the first time, thus accomplishing her final goal in physical therapy. Although we will be getting PT services through the school district for some time to come, this ended her medically-based PT services--which she has been getting weekly since she was about 2 weeks old. She also saw her nutritionist for the last time, another specialist she had been seeing since she was born.
Finally, in December, we got news about her vision that blew me away. I had always been told that her left eye was legally blind. Our opthomology visit this month now leads me to think otherwise. I also gave a speech about my miracle baby in front of 800 people.
All of these milestones----medical for my daughter, fitness for me--have made 2010 an amazing year. Add to the milestones that my daughter's speech has blossomed, her writing has improved with occupational therapy, and my own mental health has improved as I have taken more time for myself, and it has been a stellar year.
The kindness of strangers
3 hours ago