As the New Year takes on momentum, I think about the life changing events of the past year. In February, I let go of my dear Fred. As the vet put it, he had earned “The Best Dog Ever” title. Helping him pass was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I still miss him every day. Going through this experience, I learned how to blog and found my written voice.
About the time that Fred left this world, a yellow lab named Betsy was romping with a black lab in Eastern WA. She conceived and had 10 pups. I brought Prince Beau home in June and this 17 pound pup has rocked my world… and Ethel’s, too. He is now full grown at 74 pounds and a full blood retriever… of tennis balls, socks, underwear, pens, reading glasses… Check out my new version of the 12 days of Christmas at bookofbeau.wordpress.com.
In June, I traveled to Salt Lake City for the marriage of my cousin Michael Ruff to Alisha Martinez. It was a fun wedding and I especially loved the s’mores on the patio for dessert.
Family and friends surrounded me for my 50th birthday. The driest summer on record and it poured rain on August 14th. There was no dampening the celebration. Thank you to all who made this such a special day, especially my dad, Rich, Mark, Tamara, Beth, Rob, Tori and Ella.
While 2015 brought much joy, I also had more personal losses than any other year I can remember including my father’s close friend Bill Holsman who I thought of as an uncle and my mother’s sister, Diana, who I never knew due to the brain damage she suffered at an early age.
Losing Steve, my husband for eight years, in November was most significant. He suffered after his kidney failed and an infection invaded his body. Still, 54 is too young for a person to die. I met Steve in 1998 and he’s been my greatest fan ever since. Always encouraging and supportive, Steve was one of “the good people” and he was a positive influence for all those he touched. Through his illness, I received the priceless gift of reconnecting with his family, my second family. I am so grateful for this and will cherish these relationships forever.
In December, I celebrated my 15 year anniversary at Wesley Homes. Work consumes most of the hours in my days. However, I am so fortunate that I have a career where I can make a difference in peoples’ lives: building a new community in Puyallup, redeveloping our campus in Des Moines and working with inspiring residents and dedicated staff.
I have been so blessed to have a wonderful family: loving parents who support me unconditionally, a talented brother, and a sister-in-law that I adore. My life has been truly en-Rich-ed by an incredible partner and I’m inspired by my friends who are forgiving, supportive and true.
Best wishes for 2016. May it bring you joy, peace and love… all in magnificent abundance.