The past year has presented some unique challenges, and with the support of my family and friends, I've faced them, head on. Still, it's impossible to look at the past year without taking a moment or two for reflection.
During year 42, old friends found me again. Through the magic of Facebook, Eric, Kathleen and Tony are back in my life, offering reminders of the Maggie that Was, and showing me all too plainly that she's not that different from the Maggie that Is. I absolutely adore you guys, and I am grateful for your ceaseless love, humor and inspiration.
During year 42, I was part of two special celebrations with the Carlson Rice family - Christmas and Ryan's commissioning into the United States Marine Corps. Being included and loved by this family is such a privilege. I hope you dole out extra Maggie hugs to each other this weekend!
During year 42, I've watched my sister battle Leukemia while simultaneously running a home, working full time and helping to take care of our brother. Refusing to give even one strand of her hair over the chemo, the woman keeps going. She has amazed her doctor, as she has amazed me. If anyone can kick cancer's ass, it's my sister Jenn.
During year 42, I hosted one of my favorite families during their vacation. Janie, Chris and Liam Early spent several days at the Bieritz B&B last June, and it stuns me how my little apartment seems to expand to fit loved ones. They left a little love behind, and a couple pads of paper, and helped my place feel even more like home.
During year 42, my dad turned 80. Moreover, I started really talking with my dad. The brutal honesty that comes from finally accepting that this man is really going to love me, no matter what, opens doors I didn't even know were closed. My life is full of wise and wonderful people, but this man is the finest of them all.
During year 42, I started writing again. There's no novel - yet - but I spend a decent amount of time with pen to paper, and one of these days something will be finished. Stick around and I'll let you read it!
During year 42, I stood by while friends grieved over the loss of a parent. It changes you, and I think in a way only someone who has been there can truly comprehend how it feels. I hope I was able to offer a shoulder and an ear to help them through the dark times.
During year 42, lots of stuff happened. I can't possibly include all of it here; besides, it would take a year to get through it all. But suffice it to say that during year 42, I learned a lot. There were tears, and there was an abundance of laughter. There was a beautiful balance of fear and anticipation, joy and sadness.
So what's gonna happen during year 43? I have no clue, but if I've learned anything over the years, it's that the unknown can be a whole lot of fun. So, here goes; care to join me?