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!