This has been a year that has been all over the board emotionally. It started out with my uncle having a triple bypass that left him with a 25 percent chance of survival and 49 days in the hospital. He survived and is doing very well. Then his wife had a hysterectomy because she had cancerous cells in her uterus. She is also doing fine now. Then my mother's best friend, who is like a second mother to me, had very serious surgery to remove something that had wrapped itself around a major vein. Had the doctor knicked it, she would have died. He didn't, and she didn't. She is now doing fine.
Two cousins had beautiful babies. Both were unplanned pregnancies, and one had my aunt in a tizzy. She was determined not to accept it or its mother. Then the baby got here. She loves it. It has a room in her house, and the baby's mother is there everyday. My aunt has really come through for them both. She has that baby spoiled rotten. She thinks she's wonderful, and she acknowledges that the baby's mother is a wonderful mother and that she couldn't have a better mother for her granddaughter. Her son is still so confused that he doesn't quite know what to do with himself, but he loves his daughter, as well.
My parents have really changed this year. I came out to them two years ago at Thanksgiving, and it was really awful. They are really trying now, though. They welcomed my partner this past summer for the first time. At Thanksgiving, I couldn't have asked for anything more. They realized finally that my partner needed to come, too, and they invited her. She refused to come, but the invitation was there. They have loved me more than I was even aware that they did. And they are now trying to think of girls to fix me up with. Wow, have they come a long way.
I started seeing a therapist in February to help me deal with everything that was going on in my family. I started medication for anxiety and depression that same month. It took a while, but I felt so good this past fall for the first time in a long time. I'm glad that I took both of those steps.
Health-wise, I was sick twice this year. I had really awful strep throat in September. I couldn't move for a week. Then I had a really awful coughing cold in November before Thanksgiving. They gave me this wonderful cough medicine with codeine at the health center and also forced me to get a flu shot, which is a good thing. I am usually physically healthy most of the time, so two illnesses in one semester was a lot for me.
My cat is now two years old and weighs eleven pounds. She is as beautiful and sweet and playful as ever. She isn't as afraid of my parents and sister and their cats this year. She came home with me for Christmas. She has been quite brave, in fact, and seems to be enjoying herself. I am very glad about that.
I joined my church in March, and I am extremely happy about that. It is a decision I have not regretted. I like my church, and the people there have been good to me.
I have allowed myself to get out and have a good time with friends this fall. I am happy to have met such nice people and to have such good friends. I have officially unisolated myself.
I started running before Christmas and hope to keep it up when I get back to school. I hope Rennick still wants to run. It is a very healthy thing to do, and I need to lose a few pounds as well.
School-wise, I studied with a visiting poet last spring and have been working on my thesis this fall. I am happy with the state it is in right now, but it is by no means finished. I have a way to go with it. I defend it in March. I went to a phenomenal writer's conference last spring in Vancouver. I heard the fantastic Anne Carson read her poetry. I also heard W.S. Merwin, Sam Hammill, Joshua Beckman, and scores of others. There were all kinds of poetry books for sale at discounted prices, and I stocked up. I finished all of them over the summer. I need more books.
So this year has been extremely eventful year. I don't know how to feel about it. It was a year. I cried. I laughed. I am still trying.