A Long Year

Oh how I have missed sitting in front of my laptop and writing. I am sure that there are those that followed me and have slowly left, but I am hoping that there are those that have been waiting for my return. It has definitely been a long year. If your reading this for the first time, my husband had been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma back in May and since then we have lived on a roller coaster. We have gone through a year of surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and now one more PET scan and he will start a two year maintenance of Rituxan.

We have also gone through a year of living on a limited income. While I will admit that there were times that I wished that I could just buy whatever I wanted, I also realized that we were living comfortably and paying our bills. We didn’t go out to eat unless our children helped pay, and we certainly didn’t go on any vacations. But as a family we pulled through and in my opinion, we are stronger for it. I will not lie and say that everything went smooth, because it didn’t. There were many ups and downs, but through it all we made it!

With all of that said, I learned a lot. I learned who our friends were, which family members stood by us, and that there are many people who might mean well, but just don’t know how to show it. I have learned that if there is someone I know who truly needs something or are in a difficult situation, I will do something to help them. I will not sit by and wait for them to call and ask for help.

I have also learned that the generosity of others made me more humble. The first time we received a “gift” from someone I was moved to tears, and honestly the tears haven’t stopped. We have received numerous gifts in the way of food, Secret Santa’s, church donations, gift cards and monetary donations. Every single time that a card came in the mail,  a knock on the door, or a simple “take this” we want you to have it has happened, I have sat down and cried. Not just one tear, not a trickle but a full blown waterfall. Yes I am an emotional person by nature, but this is something that I am not used to. Nor is my husband. When some people we know pulled into our driveway to give us some food, he didn’t know what to do. I explained to just accept it graciously, say thank you and remember to stay humble. And when we get back on our feet again we can pay it forward to those in need.

With all of that said, I have also learned yet one more thing. We can get by on much less than we did before. I always thought of myself as a thrifty, frugal person and I often wondered if my frugal ways were worth it. Yes they are! I also realized that my frugalness actually can be stepped up more. So with the start of the new year I will be the biggest penny pincher around.

This last year has been rough, but we are looking forward to a new year…..a healthy New Year!



12 thoughts on “A Long Year

  1. I am sorry to hear about your long year …. I am glad you are back writing! I look forward to hearing of your new penny pinching tips and ways in the new year … Prayers to you and your family!!!

    • My health has been stable.I actually had an echocardiogram and it showed that I am still at 30% which means my heart is still functioning at half the normal rate. Thanks for asking.

  2. Can relate so much to living very frugally, although no one is undergoing serious testing, etc. we have had our unfortunate circumstances over the last ten years. Both myself and husband losing our jobs in 2006, to loss of a job between us here and there. Fast forward to this past summer; I find myself unemployed yet again. What makes this job loss more of an issue is that last summer I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Throw in the change of life aka menopause; things are crazy. We are keeping bills paid and food on the table, but just barely. Our teenage son is working part time and that is a godsend. So as we await the new year ahead, we will remain even more frugal as ever. It is something we moreless decided to do from the time we were married. Eating out 3-4 times a year, if we are with coupons or someone else helping pay has been reality for so long, it has become just a way of life. Living in a house that is so small I casually and laughingly say is one big walk in closet. Driving a used car purchased 13 1/2 years ago to eating leftovers of leftovers on a weekly basis. Vacation? Haven’t had one in over 5 1/2 years. But through it all we have remained humble and know all too well there are others out there in far grimmer conditions. Even though zi can’t but what I would like or ear out once a week, I am grateful for my home, my husband, son, the many friends, but most of all God. HE has been there throughout my life; through thick and thin. Whatever lies ahead we will accept and know that is how our life is suppose to go. We can sleep better knowing we do not carry a massive mortgage or car payment. Maybe years from now things will be better financially; but then again; maybe they won’t. For now I am truly blessed to be alive and enjoying the days as they come, no matter the obstacles life throws my way. This life on earth is just a blur, and I know one day I will have a mansion. It is waiting for me. Life is what we make of it. And I have chosen to appreciate the hard times, no matter how long they last. My prayers to all undergoing health issues and/or financial burdens. Just remember when a hopeless soul wants to give up, a total stranger can offer hope. God bless.

    • Oh my goodness you have had your share of hardships as well. It’s amazing how we can stretch a penny isn’t it? I am somehow, slowly coming to realize just how strong of a person that I am. I have CHF and there are those days that I am exhausted but I just keep trying to move on one step at a time. Prayer has also seen me through many a day. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. I am sorry for your long year and all that it brought your way. Sometimes the path is long, rough and narrow, but usually so worth it, especially if we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life sometimes isn’t fair, but with struggles, we learn to appreciate so much more. Without the rain, we would never fully learn to appreciate the sunshine. My fervent prayer is that you and your husband have a wonderfully better and Happy New Year. May God Bless you both.

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