Usually at the end of the year, everyone starts posting statuses on Facebook reflecting on the past year and what they hope for the next year. I feel that a status is not enough room for me to express my reflection on this year full of HIGHS and LOWS!
Here goes nothing...
2013 was a year I waited and waited for! We were engaged June 11, 2011 and set our date for June 28, 2013. Two year engagement was perfect for where we were in our life but oh my was it a LONG 2 years! January came, February came, then the worst news came. Ross' step-father (been in Ross' life since he was about 5) was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer. I'll never forget where I was. Ross' godmother texted me during class and said "Call me as soon as you can." My first reaction was omg, Ross got hurt on the job site. I called her and I could hear the upset in her voice when she told me they brought him in for a routine scope and found tumors. My faculty was there for me, took care of my class from that second on and I rushed off to be with Ross and his family. As I pulled up to the facility and parked, I sat in my car for a second telling my self that I was not going to cry in front of Ross or his family. My job was to be there for them and support them along with my future husband. Those next 2 weeks were an emotional roller coaster as the family was trying to figure out their next step. The uncertainty behind, what treatments, where to get treatments, what doctor should he go with, were all being thrown around.
A few weeks after my father-in-law's diagnosis, I lost my beloved Aunt Dolores to a 9 year battle with breast cancer. An amazing, inspiring, selfless woman was gone and home in heaven with her young son she lost to cancer at a young age. This was a very emotional time for Ross and I. Here he was comforting me at my Aunt's bedside as I told her goodbye for the last time and made sure she knew I loved her, while in the back of his head he's worried if this is his future. I was so glad to have him there for me.
See the thing is, Ross does not hurt for himself. He does not worry about himself. He worries about every one around him (a trait that I am positive he learned from his step father). With his dad's diagnosis he worried about his mom, 2 sisters, his aunt, and above all his dad. He held a lot of things in over those months and I kept reassuring him, that I was there for him whenever and if ever he was going to let it out.
Life moved on. My father-in-law started chemo and our family moved into "No One Fights Alone" mode as I like to call it. We were supportive and we received even more support from the rest of our family and many many friends. Relay for Life was extremely eye opening. I watched my father-in-law walk with the survivors and prayed that this would be his walk every time this event came around.
As our long awaited wedding approached and I watched Ross' dad able to attend every event we had in preparation for our marriage I couldn't help but feel that this all happened for a reason. The thing is, my father-in-law is very successful in the oilfield. He traveled/worked many days of the year and came in here and there. Sometimes he was gone for a few months and then in for a few weeks. Most of my memories with him while I have been with Ross is of his Dad taking us on amazing one in a lifetime vacations. Thanks to him, we have unforgettable memories in these amazing places. Without him, I'm not sure if Roas and I would have had these great experiences together. Anyways, with his hectic schedule I don't think he would have been home for all of the important events which included Ross' younger sister graduating from high school. It all happens for a reason and maybe this was the reason.
Our family and friends hosted multiple benefits for Ross' family including a bowling tournament and a shooting tournament. It's so true what they say about not knowing who is there for you until you really need them. Not only were friends and family of Ross' parents showing up in support, but OUR friends showed up to support. We didn't ask them or expect them too, but they wanted to. You cannot get truer friendships than that.
To sum it all up... Ross' dad is now in remission! Thanks be to God! He left for work the day after Christmas. We were so thankful he was healthy and here for all of the holidays and amazing events that happened this year.
It was a tough road. God does not give you anything you cannot handle. When my wedding day approached, I knew I was marrying into a strong family with extremely strong faith. I knew my family loved Ross as if he were there from day 1. I knew I was marrying a selfless man with a big big heart. I knew that we could make it through many more trials. I was not nervous. I was anxious. Anxious to become a Mrs! Just like my daddy told me while we were dancing at my reception, "It's just you and him now, y'all gotta figure stuff out on your own, and do it together." So true dad, so true! We have to get through it together, him and I. I believe we have already made it through some hard things that are just a small preview of whats to come. Marriage is truly a gift from God. I cherish every day with Ross.
I don't know whether to be excited this year is over because of all of the rough times we've had. Or should I be sad that this long awaited year is over. It was a bitter bittersweet year. I guess I will count my blessings and be excited for this new year. We pray that this next year brings us more blessings. We are crossing our fingers that we will be in our new house by this time next year. If you don't mind, please pray for NO HURRICANES this year so that can happen!
Anyways, see you next year!!
For my own sanity... a list of truly spectacular things that happened this year.
1. I married my best friends.
2. Our friends and family shared an amazing night for our rehearsal dinner. It was amazing to have all of the support. I gave a "speech" and cried like a baby.
3. Our wedding. Period. It was amazing. Friends from many different parts of our life were there to celebrate with us.
4. Ross got a hole in one!
5. I am teaching my same kids from last year.
6. I had a SUPRISE bridal shower with so many loving people! My bridal party and family are amazing!
7. Ross had a honey do shower! :-)
8. My honeymoon. An 8 day cruise secluded with my hubby.
9. Many of my friends became mothers, some for the second time.. Gorgeous babies,
10. Dalton turned 2 and now says "Peaseee Nannny"
11. We took gorgeous engagement pictures in Baton Rouge.
12. My dad had 2 cars in the World of Wheels in the Superdome!
13. Went to Bayou Country Superfest for the 2nd time!
14. I had my "Bachelorette Retreat" in Orange Beach! It was a blast thanks to my awesome friends and family! :-)
15. Many of our friends became engaged! I can't wait to be there for their special days!
16. Ross' dad is in remission
17. Health is good for the rest of our family.
18. My mom was admitted to the hospital a few days before my wedding. She needed to get her appendix out and thankfully the doctor said it was safe for her to wait until after the wedding!
plus many many moreeeeee