Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, don't let the door hit you on the way out

I wanted to write a 2008 wrap-up, but as you can tell by the post below it would be a pretty angry thing to read.

So I'm not going to write about not-so-good stuff that happened to my family back home. Seriously, I kept asking myself, "what on earth is going to happen next?" I won't expand on it because it's not mine to tell... but trust me, it was not good.

And I'm not going to write how Fred and I were the subject of gossip by people we thought were our friends. And I won't write about how utterly hurt we were by it and how a friendship ended because of it.

And I won't mention that we still don't have our green card, and so we were not able to go home to Vancouver like we had planned. We ended up not taking a vacation at all this year because we didn't want to use vacation days or money from our vacation budget in hopes that the green card would eventually come through and I'd be able to go home for the first time in 3 years.

Missing from this summary will be all the mysterious illnesses Elise came down with and the numerous ultrasounds and CT scan we had to subject her to. You especially won't hear a thing about how Elise was diagnosed with diabetes only two days after she turned one. And how we got the phone call telling us we needed to take her to the hospital in THE MIDDLE OF HER BIRTHDAY PARTY.

And I won't write about how heart-breakingly awful her illness has been. Or the stress it has put on Fred and I and our marriage. Or how lonely it has been dealing with this by ourselves. Or how some days the despair is so bleak I wonder if I'll even be able to get out of bed.

When Fred sat down today to write the Cunha End of the Year Newsletter, he asked me, "What happened that was good this year?"

I thought about it for a few seconds and quipped, "Well, we're still alive."

But when I sit and really think about it, despite all the junk we've been through, there were bright moments.

As horrible as diabetes is, I realize that it's treatable. As long as we remain vigilant, and take good care of her, Elise will survive. I know of friends whose empty arms are aching for their children, and would take a chronic illness any day over the alternative.

Though we didn't take a vacation, the fact remains that we could have afforded to, if we had wanted to. Because we were blessed enough to get out of debt 4 years ago, and we have been diligent about our budget; we were not really affected by the economic crisis. Sure Fred's 401k has taken a hit and our investments are not worth as much as before, but we're young and have time to build them up again.

And since Fred didn't take a vacation, he had about three weeks worth of vacation days accrued that needed to be used up before the end of the year. So Fred has been on vacation since Dec. 12, making life a little less stressful for me. Elise and I have enjoyed having him home.

As far as our marriage goes, both Fred and I remain devoted to one another and will not let the stress tear us apart. It is our strong bond and love for each other that allows us to face this disease head on.

And above all, I know my God loves me and I can always find comfort in His arms.

So I bid 2008 a not-so-fond farewell. I hope that '09 is kind to you and yours.


Anonymous said...

You guys are the best. Even with all of the horrible things that have happened to you this almost-past year you are still holding strong!! Good for you guys. We really do love hearing from you and seeing you every chance we get! God speed in '09 and can't wait to see you next!!

Ben, Em & the Girls!

Jade Clark said...

I love you guys so much! I'm sorry you didn't get to go to Colorado this week, I know that was just another disappointment in the long list of sucky things. I admire how strong you guys have stayed through everything. Despite going through hell with Elise's health, the not-knowing, the adjustment of EVERYTHING in your lives, despite being exhausted, and confused, and guys have made you said, you're still alive, you're still together and Elise is doing well!

Here's to a happy 2009, Cunhas!

Kim said...

Hey Jo,

I was listening to the top 100 songs of 2008 on our local Christian station as I drove around Seattle yesterday. They were about to play a song from MercyMe, and were playing a little clip from Bart about how the song "Bring the Rain" came to be. One of the things that happened to them that year, along with losing family members, was a diabetes diagnosis for their 2 year old. It made me think of this post.

As for the betrayal of a friendship, I know it will take time for that pain to soften. But I will even pray for eventual restoration of the relationship as that is what God desires ultimately.

We love you, and are praying that there are more things to celebrate in 2009.


Sara said...

I just want you to know that I pray for you a lot. Now that I have Cal, I can't imagine what an immense challenge Diabetes must be. I pray for you to have strength and perseverance and also great, joyful times. :)

Curdie said...

:( Christy told me that loneliness is rampant among moms with very young children with diabetes. I'm sorry.

I've also had my life ripped apart by gossip because a whole lot of people believed it. Now that it's been five or six years, I can see the good through the bad. I hope it works out for your good. Hugs.