The Queen had hers way back in 1992 when Charles and Diana separated, a fire burned Windsor Castle castle almost down to the ground, and the tabloids enjoyed themselves far too much reporting on royal antics.
I had just had my own annus horribilis this past year and a bit – a truly terrible, really bad, horrible year. Yes, menopause was and is still a monstrous thing, and yes I broke a couple of fingernails, I earned several of large black and blue bruises and I even found a few grey hairs.
But you have to understand – I went from this:
to this practically overnight:
- My mother who lives half-way across the country was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer – tumors in her breast, lymph nodes and cancer in her hip and leg bones. A few months later she was also diagnosed with a brain tumor.
- After suffering through multiple open houses and far too many showings, we finally sold our beloved house of 12 years. Moving day proved to be a nightmare featuring stoned and scary-looking movers who damaged furniture, broke treasured mementos and left the old house with lights on, doors wide open, fridge full of food and valuables on the kitchen table. (And we even used one of the so-called top local moving companies – really! ) Because we were gluttons for punishment we lined up painters and carpenters and electricians and tile layers immediately and kept them busy for almost a year.
- And while a fire didn’t almost destroy our place, we did experience more than our fair share of leaks and floods from the three toilets, the refrigerator, several windows, the roof, my son’s bedroom wall and of course the pool.
- We sold and vacated our water-access-only cabin which we had owned for almost 20 years and was a source of many wonderful family memories. It truly was a bittersweet moment.
- Due to my incredible lack of coordination I fell and cracked my ribs on the rocks by the ocean while shoveling dog dung into the ocean the day after Christmas; the ER was not the optimum spot to spend on Boxing Day.
- My husband of 30 years, a corporate lawyer who generally works 60-80 hour weeks, became extremely ill and inexplicably weaker and weaker, spending at least 20 hours a day in bed. He was no longer the Original Obnoxious One. After seeing 14 doctors and making 5 ER visits to 2 different hospitals he was finally diagnosed with heart disease and placed on 2 kinds of medication; then he suffered a mini-stroke and stayed in hospital for almost a week.
- My son’s best friend from high school died very suddenly and unexpectedly this summer – my son, the Obnoxious One and he had been estranged the past couple years which somehow made the whole situation worse. The boy was a lovely sensitive and creative soul who lost his way.
- In addition to dying her beautiful hair black with blue ends, and adding a couple more tattoos and piercings, my daughter developed several medical issues which culminated in three lengthy hospital stays.
- My 4 year old yellow lab nearly died as a result of ingesting a large amount of rat poison.
And when my husband and I took a much needed vacation for some rest and relaxation this past fall guess where we went – Jordan and Israel right when the 2015 stabbings and Wave of Terror began. Of course! Keep in mind that we live in boring little Canada where no one carries guns and people are way too polite most of the time. In fact, the most exciting thing that has happened to us in decades is the fact that the New York Times called us “hip” in January 2016.
But…deep deep breath… I’m back. And I’ve cried enough tears and hosted enough personal pity-parties to last me for a very long time. So no more, besides, I’ve got stories to share.