Our Christmas Letter

This is the Christmas letter that I want to send this year. This is also the Christmas letter I will not send. I don’t want to rock the boat and I am not sure it would be well received by my family and friends who have not spoken to us much over the past three years.

December 14, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas! I hope the past year has brought you happiness and contentment. I am happy to write this Christmas letter and share with everyone how the lives of my children and I have been for the past three years. Today marks the third anniversary of my mom’s leaving earth. During the past three years I have been unsure of myself and my path more than any other time in my life. I have felt more alone, more scared and more unbalanced than any other time as well. I have also felt abandoned and left out in the cold and snubbed by those that I thought loved me above all others. I have discovered new friends and forged new delicate friendships through the last three years as well. I have tried to forget the pain and suffering I have felt during the past six years with all of the sudden losses I have experienced. Losing family and friends because their time on earth was finished and losing others because our lives took different paths. I have cried many tears and felt many dreams dissolve. This next year is going to be the year of changes and moving forward. I need to climb out of my rut and discover my new self.

The past three years have seen my oldest discovering himself and who he wants to be. My son is 20 now. He joined the Army National Guard in 2011. During that time he travelled across the country to Massachusetts, he earned his GED, left for boot camp and completed AIT. In 2012 he came home and tried to find a job. During his adventures to find the right job for him he has discovered that he is better suited to be his own boss. In 2014 he will be working on opening his own business and creating his own successes. This sweet child of mine has grown into a caring and giving young man. He calls me whenever he does good deeds, mostly to share in feelings of happiness for helping others. He is still stubborn to a fault and we, at times, argue about silly unimportant things. He is overcoming many obstacles in his life and dealing with just as many loses. I try to remind him when he is struggling that he should never give up. My son was recently married on September 30th, 2013. I wish with all my heart his Nana was there to share that experience with us on earth instead of in Heaven. The ceremony was short and sweet, done in a court house in Washington State. The only attendees were me, my son, his sisters and his fiancé. On October 31st, 2013 they had another ceremony for family and friends in Montana.

Little girl is finally 18 and has grown so much in last three years. She has managed to succeed in high school taking honors and AP classes. She travelled to Missouri and Paris, France with Girl Scouts in 2011 and 2012. She completed a Senior Project and earned her Gold Award, the highest award you can earn in Girl Scouts. She educated and encouraged others to wear their seat belts and be more attentive drivers. Over the past year she worked at her first job in our little neighborhood grocery store and started her second job at about the same time. She worked two jobs over the summer and went down to one once school started. This little girl has just completed her first semester of college and is well on the road to becoming an elementary school teacher. Sadly she has decided that after next semester she will attend school 3 hours away. Her best friend goes to school there and she really wants to spread her wings and fly on her own. Thankfully she will be surrounded by friends and be close enough to home for us to visit often. Of course her little sister is not too happy about this decision and I am not sure I am ready either. She has over the summer also purchased her first car. She is in love with the beat up Pontiac. The car was hit in a parking lot one day and the jerk drove off without saying a word. Lucky for us someone saw the hit and run happen and wrote the plate number down and we were able to find the person. The car was fixed and is just as good as it was before.

My youngest child, my sweet baby girl is 16 now. She has had the most struggles over the last three years. Her depression and anxiety hit the lowest point we have ever seen. We have seen it manifest into body aches and new body maladies. The new medications she started in 2011 are working wonderfully now that we had a recent increase. Amidst all of her emotional struggles she has managed to take personal risks and still be an adventurous young lady. In 2011 she travelled to Michigan and in 2012 she ventured to California both trips were Girl Scout destinations. She made new friends and overcame her fears, at least for a little while. High school has been a new kind of adventure for my baby girl. She has had ups and downs with her friends, found classes that interest her and made some life altering decisions about her future. She has a high interest in photography and is currently doing yearbook. This year she has applied for another Girl Scout destination to London in the summer of 2014. She has also been making plans for her Girl Scout Gold Award as well. She is always striving to be brave and do her best. Her next task will be working on getting her driver’s license. Now that we both agree she is ready for that kind of responsibility.

I am looking forward to the next year with the dreams and possibilities that lay ahead of us all. The opportunities to live life to its fullest and explore new paths are truly exciting. I am discovering a new path for myself, one of self-indulgence and self-fulfillment. I will be forging new delicate friendships into stronger human relationships that benefit me and the other person. I will be spending time with my children and our dogs, the littlest loves of my life. I will be watching my children grow and discover more of their own worlds. I hope everyone has the merriest Christmas and the happiest New Year.

Love and hugs to you all,

Jenn

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