Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Rare Reflective Post

Although most of my posts will be crafting-related or active in some way, I'm going to take a moment to write a short reflective post. I've tried to write something to this effect before and it weighs so heavily on me that I've had to give up, condemned to keep it to myself. But in honor of a new year, I've decided to just write it all down as quickly as possible and get it off my chest.

2010 was a tough year for me. Not just because my sister died unexpectedly, alone, or because I had to watch my dad descend into being mute, confused, and helpless before I watched him take his final breaths. These were just what started the bulk of my troubles in 2010. No, what has really taken its toll on me the worst was that I wasn't allowed to move on.

In an unlucky series of events, my sister's estate is still in probate. Most of her things are still setting in her house just as she left them, nearly a year after her death. It makes it incredibly hard for me to go back there now. As much as I adore east Texas, I hate making trips down there now. Because of our own financial issues and her lack of life insurance, we still haven't managed to get her a tombstone yet.

I knew when my dad died that I would be the one settling his affairs, but he never prepared me for how convoluted that process is. We're still in the process of getting the Air Force to release the rest of his life insurance money, still haven't settled his debts or sold any of his estate. He had no legal will, his information with the Air Force was out of date, and the paperwork he had wasn't organized at all.

There is still so much unfinished business to take care of, and everything is going so slowly. It's like having a huge burden on my shoulders. I truly hope that none of you ever have to bear the responsibility that I took on in all of this, because it is truly overwhelming at times. Certainly, I've had other family members die, including two of my half-brothers, but at that point in time, other people made the arrangements and took care of the responsibilities. I was allowed to do my mourning and then move on. Now that I am the one shouldering responsibility, I can understand better why my dad carried a similar burden.

To top it all off, I've noticed that having that burden has made me dwell on other bad things that have happened in my life - even little ones that happened when I was a child, but especially more recent ones. Petco trying to fire me for needing time off to settle my sister's affairs after she died. Being told not to worry about how to pay for my sister's funeral, that her church would take care of it, only to find out after the funeral that "it was just a loan" and we were expected to pay it back, because the church "isn't in the business of burying people." Being fooled by two different people into thinking they were my friends, because I take people at face value and it never occurs to me that some people just pt on an act so that they can use you. Our cranky landlord showing up without any notice and letting himself in when I didn't answer the door. And so many, many other things. It kills some days for me, leaves me stuck in a depression.

It's not that I'm trying to throw a pity party. It's just that I don't understand how everything got like this. How everything can change so quickly.

I've been looking forward to 2011, and I am glad that it is now here. I am offered a tiny bit of relief that my year of hell is now, officially, in the past. I know that it's quite likely that 2011 could end up just as badly as 2010, but they whole point of this blog is that, because it brings me so much pain to look back on even happy memories right now, all I have to cling to is the present and the future.

Even though I'm not much of one for New Year's Resolutions, I made one this year: Keep Moving Forward. Because the only way to handle bad periods in your life is just to take one day at a time. My hope for tomorrow is what keeps me trudging on the worst days. My joy is the little family I've built for myself. So I put my past out of my mind, for now. Maybe one day I'll be able to look back again and enjoy the happy memories. For now, all I can do is keep moving forward, focus on the present and keep working on living out the values that Jason and I have ascribed to our lives. I'll just keep moving forward.

[Picture Credit]

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