So much happened this fall that I fell out of the habit and ran out of time to update the blog. We had several visitors including Aunt Amy, Tina, and Grandma K. Jon and I coached Taylor and Liv’s FIRST Lego League team where we competed in the Into Orbit challenge. We enjoyed some social visits including a cookie exchange, a road trip to California, and Jon did a 10K. We celebrated Halloween, Christmas, New Years, and 5 Birthdays. There were tears, laughs, and fits of joy.
Today, though, marks one of my annual days of soul food and mourning, self pity, all that stuff. It’s a day that I dread all year, and one that just sits in the back of my mind as the worst day of my life. So here begins my annual obligatory blog post about my amazing Mom who I lost too soon.
Last year on this day, I decided that I had to forgive myself for whatever guilt I harbored related to her demise. That is not to say that I don’t still miss her like crazy, cry, and wish she were here everyday., but I don’t spend my quiet moments silently agonizing about what I could, should, or would have done if I had any inkling that her health was in as much peril as it was. 2018 was definitely a better year than 2017, but I feel like loosing my Mom has been the lowest place in my life. So I feel like there was no other way to go but up.
In 2018 I finally sat for my certification exam in Maternal Neonatal Nursing. Achieving this certification was a big deal for my confidence in what I do. It validates that knowledge that I use in my practice every day. I feel really good about my work, and given all the things that complicate my world, this gives me a little place of peace. At work I have accepted new challenges that are helping me grow professionally and also help our department. Not surprisingly, my favorite role is precepting new hires. The charge role presents new challenges every day, but it also grows my confidence while allowing me to support my coworkers too.
I made extra effort in 2018 to cultivate and grow my personal friendships. I think that my personal relationships, in general, have never been better. I’m so grateful to the friends I have made here in Portland, and those back in Wisconsin, all who are so supportive of me regardless. I have always been good at recognizing that it’s not about the quantity of time spent, but the quality of that time spent. I know that our family obligations often keep us from putting more effort into our friendships, so this year, I just made a strong commitment to putting a little more effort. I really appreciate my friendships more and more with every passing year.
Our family is really settling in, and the kids have some new special relationships too. Taylor has made a friend that he invited over for our Halloween party and stayed a night. Liv has several new friends, and Ava and Wes spend a lot of their time down the block at the neighbor’s house. We added our amazing pooches in 2018, and everybody loves having them in the family.
So on the second anniversary of my Mom’s passing, I’m really trying to be thankful for the gifts around us. I miss her, and I feel angry that she isn’t here to see how much the kids are growing and maturing, to share in my successes and those of my siblings, to get married and enjoy her retirement.