New Year/New Perspective

Another years comes to an end. 2019 started pretty decent for me but ended in heartbreak and tragedy. It’s always difficult losing someone you love, but losing several family members within a year really put me over the edge to say the least. And I gained all the weight that I lost plus an extra pound back by the end of the year. I always knew I was an emotional eater but I really went way overboard. At the time I just didn’t care. Which leaves me starting the new year at 321:8. This is basically where I started this time last year. I did manage to lose 40lbs by July 2019. Looking back, I’m so mad at myself right now but I also know I was severely depressed and just didn’t give a crap! So here I go, starting all over again! But why did I gain it all back? And in such a short amount of time. Let me try to explain.

In November of 2018, my nephew, Keith, (my brothers middle child) passed away suddenly. It appears to have been an overdose but I still don’t know to this day if that’s exactly what the cause was. He was into some sort of drugs, not exactly sure which one(s). He was 28 years old. His mom found him in his room laying on the floor. I can’t even imagine finding my child this way and not being able to do anything to help. This was clearly shocking for all of us. Keith was a kind and loving soul. Always happy to see you, hug you, and just talk to you. And he always said I love you. Drug addiction is such a difficult disease to overcome. He left this earth all too soon and is deeply missed.

Then in May of 2019 my brother, Steve, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The prognosis was not good. He was in a lot of pain. He did manage to finish radiation but before chemo was to start he was basically told the radiation did nothing and he was going to be sent home on hospice. I was thinking I might have time to go visit him beginning of June and was making those plans. I’m originally from Ohio and that is where all my family still resides. However, he came home on hospice for one day, and passed away the next day. We were all shocked that it went down that way. I had just talked to him on the phone the morning before. He was talking like he normally would to me. Being all matter of fact and asking me to make sure Michelle was taken care of. Michelle, my sister in law. So not only did Michelle lose her son, but now, the man she had been with for almost 30 years has passed away too. In the same house. Just insane and hard to fathom. Steve and Michelle have legal custody over their two grandkids. So they were basically raising another family which is even more added stress. My sister and I helped plan the Celebration of Life at their home. It was very nice. Just a BBQ and very casual the way Steve would have wanted it. Steve and I were not very close over many years, in fact I hadn’t seen him in person for over 10 years. We did talk on the phone on occasion but I really talked to Michelle more than him. Still, losing a sibling has been very difficult.

About a week after this, my youngest son, Nathan, left for basic training in the Air Force. We are really close so this too was very difficult and emotional for me. Not seeing or talking to him everyday was hard. Of course I worried about him too. We only got to talk on the phone maybe three times in the 8 weeks he was gone and it was limited to 2-4 minutes per time. During the time he was away I had my brothers two grandkids come stay with me for about 2 weeks. I was planning on bringing them down before my brother passed away, just to give Michelle time just to focus on my brother. Since he passed away I decided to go ahead and take them anyway to give Michelle time to grieve and do stuff she needed to do without kids to take care of. That was a little hectic with them here. Guess I’m not used to entertain an 11 and 8 year old all day long plus deal with work and childish employee problems there. Stress was building. Anyway, after flying back to Ohio with the kids, I was able to stay with my sister for a few days. She had just moved into a condo, she had downsized from a huge farm house with lots of land to a two bedroom stand alone condo in a neighborhood. We had a great couple of days together. This was the beginning of August. We had a serious discussion about what we wanted to happen with us after we passed away. She is 7 years older than me. And my brother is 3 years older and I’m the baby.

My husband, me, my other two sons and daughter-in-law traveled to San Antonio August 16 to see my son Graduate from basic training. I was so excited to see him. It was wonderful. I was very happy. He graduated on a Friday and we stayed through the weekend touring around San Antonio. Which was beautiful and so much fun. And then tragedy strikes again. Late Saturday night/ early Sunday morning I get a call from my brother in law telling me my sister was in a car accident and she didn’t make it. My heart stopped. I couldn’t breath. This can’t be true. I was numb for quite awhile after this. I actually still can’t believe it to this day. It’s crazy to me. My sister and I were close. She always had my back. Yes, she was annoying at times but that’s siblings for you. She left behind a husband of 35 years and four daughters. They are all adults now, the youngest in college but I can understand what they are feeling and grieving. I lost my mom when I was 20. This has been a crazy, heartbreaking year. I still can’t believe I will never talk to her again.

Onto the new year. The emotional stress eating is out of control. I need to take back my life and focus on me. My husband and I have plans for this year to help with the stress. Like downsizing our house. Selling the restaurant. Living a simpler life. And trying to just be happy. I need to loose this weight I need order to do the things I want, go on cruises. We have a few planned this year already. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines. I want to enjoy life. You never know when your last day on earth will be. This past year really drives that point home to me.

My brother Steve, myself and my sister Carol

Nathan’s graduation
Visiting Nathan in Biloxi while he was in tech school
Nathan was able to be home for two weeks over Christmas break! Best surprise ever!

2 thoughts on “New Year/New Perspective

  1. I have no words. I wish I had words of comfort. Your losses had to be crippling. But your story gives hope to those grieving that you still can manage to put one foot in front of the other. You and your family are in my prayers. I struggle with weight also. Maybe this will be the year for us to successfully tackle that situation.

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