So, as many of you know, this has been one of the toughest years of my life... it all really started way back in March 2018: I had just passed my final nursing exam and was celebrating with my soon-to-be in-laws when my mobile phone started ringing, but it wasn't an ordinary phone call. It was a video call from my dad. I figured he was calling to say congratulations face-to-face, so to speak. He wasn't. That was when I found out my dad had cancer and not just any cancer, but blood cancer... the kind you can't get rid of...
That would have been tough enough to deal with on its own, but just as my dad's treatment was beginning, a shocking tragedy shook my family deeply. My Uncle Sean, the husband to my mum's younger sister Libby, was very much the life and soul of any family gathering. Any family event or holiday or occasion, we normally found ourselves in their house celebrating with amazing food that Sean would cook, lots of alcohol and, most of all, great company. Uncle Sean brought our family closer and he was a fantastic addition to our family. He started a tradition in our family that we would celebrate Christmas twice a year - once on the 25th of December like everyone else, and once again in the summer... "Christmas in July". Sean would go all out - cooking the full turkey dinner, decorate his home, dress up as Santa, the full nine yards. We knew for about a year that he was ill and that his chances were not great, so we planned in July 2018 to do one last big Christmas in July. My partner and I were on the motorway down to their house to help get everything ready when my phone rang. It was my mum calling to tell me that Sean had taken really unwell that morning, had been rushed to the hospital and died very suddenly. We were floored... to lose such a huge part of our family spirit so suddenly... Christmas this winter, and New Year too, just haven't been the same without him.
My dad's treatment was really difficult for him, and for us to watch him decline so far, but he absolutely beasted it and they stopped his treatment 4 months early because he was doing so well! The next stage involved him being admitted to hospital for 3 weeks for stem cell replacement therapy. While we were waiting for the good news to continue, death once again raised his scythe...
When I first met Stuart, my partner, we fell in love very quickly. We are just made for each other, there is no effort and no hard work needed to make our relationship as strong as it is. I moved in with him and his parents within the year and I feel like I've known his mum and dad my whole life. I couldn't ask for better soon-to-be in-laws or friends. Most of all, their little dog Lady, adopted me as her puppy. She was a brilliant, gentle and so so loving creature. Over the last few years, we've watched her steadily decline and knew her time with us would soon be by. She fought so hard right up until the very end, until one day she let us know she was ready to go to sleep. We miss our special Lady every day and our lives are not the same without her.
Within a week of Lady passing, my dad was finally admitted to hospital. It was a very difficult few weeks, it was a very dark time for my dad being separated from us all as there were times we weren't allowed to visit or he wasn't allowed to leave the hospital room due to the nature of his treatment. However, we all rallied to help him get through it and he finally got home just the week before Christmas.
As the year drew to a close, we breathed a sigh... we thought "that's it, we've made it". This had been a hard year, but we were coming to the end and hoping and praying for a better 2019. However, as is usually the case, death comes in threes...
On Boxing Day, I was getting ready to start cooking two Christmas dinners when my mum calls me. I had spoken to her earlier that morning and thought she had maybe forgotten to tell me something. Unfortunately, she was bearing sad news... many years ago now, when I was still with my ex, we lived together with my brother in a wee upstairs flat. This was our first flat and, even though we were nervous, we knew we had good neighbours. My Uncle George and Aunt Shirley-Anne lived in the flat below us and we shared a garden with them. On Boxing Day, my mum called to tell me that George had passed away suddenly that morning. So... we are starting 2019 off with a funeral.
However, 2018 hasn't been all bad. On the up-side - I graduated university (again) with a degree in Mental Health Nursing, my dad beat cancer (until it resurfaces at least) and we welcomed a new puppy into our family just the other day. Plus, 2019, while off to a sad start, is also very exciting because, in just a few weeks, I'll be marrying the man of my dreams! I couldn't wish for a kinder, lovelier and sexier man. I really didn't think I had a shot with a guy as amazing as him, but he agreed to that first date and we've been practically inseparable ever since! And now we're going to be married! For all the hard times this year, my man has seen me through it all, he's been my rock and supported me and my family through it all. Yes, it's been a tough year, but I've also never felt this happy or alive.
So... I think that's my "resolution" for 2019 - to not get bogged down or hung up on the bad stuff and the tough times and the sadness. Yes, I will cry when times are sad, I'll shout at the universe when life gets a little too hard... but I'll also remember that my life, ultimately, is in a really positive place right now and is so full of warmth and love.
For 2019, I choose to be happy and fill my life with love.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2019 everyone
(PS... on the Fakemon side of things... I'm going to delay my next batch for a little bit as I need to replace the Budiss line in the Miravel Region. I have a fantastic idea for it's replacement and I'm actually really glad it worked out this way because I'm planning on using an updated version of the first Grass Starter Fakemon I ever designed and I think that will make a really awesome segue into the Origa Region! Anyways, that's all from me really this time - Happy 2019!!!)