December 30, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: Goodbye, 2013

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — There were many times in the past year I wished for 2013 to be over. Each month seemed to present another hill we had to scale, and as the year inched forward, I grew increasingly wary of that ugly 13, wondering what it was going to slap us with next. Now that it is nearly over and we can graduate into a nice, even number — wonderful, beautiful 14 — I realize that, though I longed to fast forward it, this year has taught me more than any other. These are the lessons I learned:



This past weekend, we threw a big, ugly Christmas sweater party whose planning has been in the works for months. Throughout this year, I thought of this party often, imagining the day I could stand in front of a group of 150 people and toast to William’s recovery.

But days before the big shindig, William and his entire family came down with a terrible flu, which threw William’s heart back into a-fib. Needless to say, I had absolutely no interest in attending, much less hosting, a party.

But my friends — many of whom I’ve met in the past year — stepped up. Whether it was making banners and other crafty items, picking up ice, dropping off decorations, taking time to check out the facility with me, buying beer, coming early to decorate, checking on William through the night or cleaning up, I had a strong group of women I could lean into to keep me standing. And that felt pretty good.



When William was discharged from the hospital, my in-laws were set in motion. Without batting an eye, my vegetarian sister-in-law Leah picked up an order of meat from the butcher in Lexington so I could have a full freezer and not have to go to the grocery store. My sister-in-law Teresa brought over the cribbage board that occupied us for months. And if she wasn’t bringing over dinner, my mother-in-law Linda was popping over at the drop of a hat to keep a watch on William so I could run errands.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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