2022–For Better Or For Worse

On December 30, it’s natural to look back over the past year, celebrate successes and victories, bemoan our errors, and perhaps plan ahead a little. I’m so grateful for new author and reader friends, the joy of producing our Texas Hill Country Christmas Collection, and am looking forward to our writers’ retreat in late February.

In the rear-view mirror, one choice I’d change if I had a do-over…on a cold, miserable mid-April day, I might still go walking in the closest large building to our home, BUT I would not go upstairs. Thus, I would not roll my left ankle coming down the steps and splat onto the unforgiving hallway floor. Breaking a femur is no fun.

Yep, that’s one thing I’d change. And I was only trying to keep exercising in spite of the weather…

A whole bunch of other people I met in the hospital and rehab and even now in ongoing physical therapy might note similar alterations in their behavior this past year. One of them, a new friend I met on a day when her facial bruises made a memorable impression, writes this:

I was on my way home from volunteering at Food Bank and I stopped to check for mail. It was dark, so I turned on emergency flashers, but forgot to put the car in park. As I got out, the car rolled forward and I fell backwards (onto right hip area). As I tried to get up to stop my car, my arms and/or legs gave out and I hit my head on the street. I then managed to get back into my car, which had stopped at my cul-de-sac turn (as if to say, “Get in. I’ll take you home.”).  Luckily, there were no serious injuries- just a very “colorful” couple of weeks to come. 

Don’t you love her sense of humor? And Jan has even shared some photos.

When she first shared her story, Jan said, “Lesson for all: Put car in park before exiting!” So you know what she would change if she could go back.

Another shot of Jan in the Emergency Room:

And another later at home. Note: sometimes the healing process can make us look even worse than at the beginning.

The wonderful thing is, finding a bit of humor in our situations makes all the difference. If Jan had looked like anyone else around us the day I met her in a very public spot, her remarkably humble attitude might not have shown through. And we both agreed that sometimes it seems like our bodies resist the “normal” track.

Neither of us have any idea what’s ahead in 2023, of course, but we’ve both made it this far. One thing that’s helped me on “low” days has been keeping a list of people fighting much bigger, life-and-death battles…

a young mom with a newborn AND a frightening cancer.

Someone who had two bone breaks last year and now faces serious cancer surgery.

And the list goes on. Lifting them up in the middle of a sleepless night puts my own woes in perspective.

As you look back on 2022 and ahead to a new year, any stories you’d like to relate? We all benefit from this kind of sharing!

And a healthy 2023 to all of you.

8 thoughts on “2022–For Better Or For Worse

  1. Interesting question to consider on this last day of the year my friend. Not sure that I would change anything as I think God allowed them to happen for a reason. Things that I would like to have changed include:
    – Not trusting the doctor’s to know best about what medicines I should take and to share the “what could happen” info with you.
    – Encouraging the retina specialist to change the medicine he was injecting much sooner when he saw the first wasn’t working.
    – Faith isn’t always bulling ahead and not paying attention to what God is telling you (e.g., spending 1000s planting Bermuda grass that could not survive the lingering and worsening drought).
    – You can never have enough hay in the barn or water stored.

    Praying you have an even more blessed 2023 Ms. Gail.

  2. 2022 was a tough year for me, too. It started with me being in the hospital with pneumonia and then, having to spend long weeks in rehab to gain back my strength and mobility. Honestly, I’m glad 2022 is in the rearview mirror, although I certainly learned some lessons God wanted me to learn in the process. Thankful for those!
    Blessings, Gail!

    • I’ve been so impressed w/all the therapists who work with folks like us! They never seem to weary of our aches and pains and are always looking for progress and gains. (Hey, that rhymes!) Glad you regained your strength, Martha.

  3. 2022 has been a difficult year for my immediate family. Although stress has been in our lives, this past year was more difficult with the death of my granddaughter due to a fentanyl overdose. Each of us are dealing with this in different ways and I realize I need to get help myself. My hope is that 2023 will be a year of healing and which will bring each family member back together in love.

    • That’s a kind of pain beyond what we can even grasp, Connie. It takes such courage to share about these unspeakable sorrows, and it seems like though getting help can be difficult, living without help is even worse. May your hope for your family be realized in full during this new year.

  4. I’m so thankful that I got to see my aunt Jeanne before she died just six or seven weeks ago, during the week when I was launching my book. I wrote a little about her experience during WWII and based a character on her. Aunt Jeanne was so excited for the past year and a half and wanted to see the book. My husband and I drove down to see her with a copy of my novel for her and my sister met us at the nursing home. Aunt Jeanne suffered a fall and was frail at 98. She became my second mother 25 years ago when my mother died, and always called her four nieces ‘her girls.’ She rallied to sit in her chair and drank part of a milkshake. She looked at the book and called me and my sister by name. We chatted but I could see she was failing and tired. I told her I loved her and thanked her for being my second mother and kissed her. She responded, ‘Thank you for being my daughter.”

    Since my mother died, I’ve become more emotional and empathetic. I tell my friends and family members I love them. I didn’t get to do that with my mother. She had a stroke, underwent surgery, and died during recovery. We were all stunned. I felt badly until that fall when I had a student who lost her mother while in high school. I can’t imagine that. I was in my mid-40s when she died and she got to see my children grow up. I’m thankful for Mom and Jeanne, and dedicated The Gift to the three Lewis sisters who taught me to treasure family. God bless, everyone.

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