This New Year’s Eve I did what I do every year, slept through it. No crowds, no drinking, no false promises. I made myself a wonderful dinner, lounged in my comfy pj’s and watched TV for a while. When I was tired I went to my bed, clean and luxurious flannel sheets and my treasured down comforter. With my dog Honey curled up in her bed next to mine and my cat Cricket snuggled in a ball on top of the covers, we drifted off to sleep away the year that was 2012.
The year of 2012 was actually a fairly good year for me personally. It started with Italian classes in January, moved to a busy Spring with lots of work and a few small Lottery wins, it also was the time that I reconnected with a friend after 40 years! One of the most cherished moments of the year for me. Summer brought me more work than years before which boosted my travel funds. It was the first time in many years that I was actually able to take a few days off from work to do things that were not work related, just something I really wanted to do, like the Stuart Horse Trials.
It was early Fall when the bad crept in. My hands, my livelihood, the two things one pretty much can’t function without, started to fail me. First a few fingers on one hand, then the same on the other. A week or two went by, the pain bouncing back and forth or with both at the same time. Waiting for whatever it was to go away I dealt with it, until the day in late September when my right hand swelled so badly I couldn’t move it. The pain so bad it exhausted me completely, I couldn’t open a door, a jar, turn the key to my cars ignition say nothing about shifting or turning the steering wheel. Work, I need to work, so I went every day and I did the best I could. Asking for help when I knew I couldn’t do something.
Doctors visit’s are expensive when you don’t have Health Insurance. I was sent to a Specialist, more money. Blood work and X-rays, more money. (Italy fund is gone.) Becoming a Patient of a Women’s Health Clinic will offer me a chance to apply for a Grant to pay for some of these expenses if I qualify. Three months have passed and the pain and swelling has settled into the right wrist. Meds help keep the swelling at a minimum, and reduce pain but neither have gone away completely. I do what I can and remind myself that I am lucky. I could have much worse conditions, though it is difficult and frustrating most days, it really could be horrible. Stay positive, that’s what I tell myself.
This brings me to the Ugly. Natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy in October were hard to witness. The overall scope of devastation was beyond my own comprehension. Sandy decimated a complete shore line. People, businesses, Hospitals, Schools everything in its path, there was no grain of sand untouched. To this day there are still people with out power or running water, living in the shells of what used to be their warm and happy homes. Of course my thoughts go to all of the pets just as strongly, that’s who I am, it’s what I do and it’s where my heart lies. Abandoned or found lose many have been shipped to Shelters around the country, hopefully to find new and safe homes. To be loved and cared for. I hope……
The Ugly got worse on December 14th 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown CT. The most heart wrenching event in my lifetime. I don’t even know what words to use to describe my sadness or my anger. They were equally as strong, those two emotions. Just 10 days before Christmas – innocent children and teachers lost their lives to an idiot whom I personally feel could have been stopped by his mother. The very mother that KNEW he had a problem and yet went out and purchased High Powered Weapons AND taught him how to use them!!! ( A post for another day )
The last and final Ugly blow; In my very own City/Suburb. Christmas Eve morning 4 Volunteer Firefighters Ambushed and shot while responding to an Alarm. Two dead, three injured ( the 3rd injury was a Cop on his way to work – saw the fire and was shot while in his car coming to assist ) One of the deceased was a 25 year veteran on the West Webster Volunteer Fire Dept AND he was 18 years on the WW Police Dept force. He had gone downstate to help with Hurricane Sandy Relief as a volunteer. The other deceased was just 19 years old. An adorable young man who found his calling at a very young age. Dedicated all of his time assisting others. This weekend our community buried these brave men, but not without support…..People came by the hundreds and thousands from all over the United States, Canada and even one Firefighter from Germany. You can read all of the comments here: https://www.facebook.com/WebsterFirefighters
It was unprecedented the numbers of “brotherhood” that came to support and pay respects.
So that brings me back to the Good; Each and every person from the “Brotherhood” that came to our area to pay respects had a free room at area Hotels/Motels paid for by the community and some got beds/showers at local Firehouses. Not one single person had to pay for a meal or drink. My community supported each and every one of the thousands that came, they were given hand warmers while waiting in the cold and snow, standing in line for hours at the Calling Hours, hot coffee, tea and cocoa. Sandwiches, cookies and snacks. Hot meals provided by a multitude of local businesses, hospitality events where everywhere, transportation if needed was free. Trips to the Hospital to visit the two firemen recovering from their devastating wounds. It was the most amazing outpouring of love and support I’ve ever seen in my life. And it happened right here, where I live.
The Good; I am so very proud of my City, my community. I am thankful and grateful for all of those who put their own lives in danger to help others, save property and lives. Two honorable and courageous men died, three were injured and 7 homes lost to a fire set by a mad man with the intent of killing, ambushing, those very men that dedicate themselves and their lives for the greater good of people. It will take a good part of 2013 ( if ever ) for this area to get back to our “Normal” – what ever that may be.
I think 2013 will be a pivotal year for this Country. The events that closed 2012 have driven people to the Cliff of Kindness. Reaching out with offerings of goodness, compassion, generosity and unselfishness. Sharing what they have no matter how large or small to those who have less. So that those who stand on the edge may not fall but instead be pulled further inland to be helped and saved and comforted. Yes, 2013 will bring many changes, many for the good of all. The Politicians will talk, the Media will talk but the People Will Speak.
Here’s to a wonderful, beautiful 2013.