Gah. It feels like it has been forever since I sat down to write for the blog. The last few months have been a whirlwind. Let me share what’s been going on, mostly to make myself feel better about being absent.

I started my new job as a Social Media Coordinator at The Learning House on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The next day, we drove an hour away to pick up our sweet new baby, Milo. We found out a few weeks later that Milo is, in fact, a girl. So now we like to think she’s a tomboy.

The next few weeks held a lot of readjustment as I got used to working full time and from an office again. I was slightly less sad about no longer working from home when I discovered how great it is to be in a workplace that isn’t toxic and disheartening (but that’s a story for another day.) We got into a flow of life and we started getting our house ready for Christmas.

A few weeks before Christmas, we took an incredible trip to Chicago with John’s family. We saw Hamilton. I cried a lot. It was truly such a wonderful trip.

Then the week before Christmas came around, and things changed quite a bit. I talked to my mom every day on the phone that week for updates on my grandma. The plan (for months) had been for my family to come to Louisville for Christmas. But with each day that passed, and each update from my mom, it seemed that might not be the best option. On Saturday, December 22, I decided I needed to be home to say goodbye and help however I was needed. I snagged a last-minute plane ticket and flew home at 6 am the next morning.

I knew what to expect when I saw gram a few hours after landing, but I still broke down in tears when I saw her frail body. Each time she woke up, she was clearly sick of still being on earth. She was so ready to go home. She wanted Jesus. On Christmas morning, she got Him. She ran into his arms and celebrated Christmas with Him. And she was finally reunited with her beloved husband whom she had lost 28 years prior. I can only imagine the joy in heaven on December 25, 2018.

I stayed home through the next weekend to be there for the funeral. Something quite unimaginable happened while I was home that week. We laughed. We definitely cried too, but the week was overwhelmingly joyful, instead of being depressing. She made it to her final resting place, a place more spectacular than we could even imagine. Gram’s life encouraged us, but her death encouraged us too.

I was also deeply encouraged watching my mom, my cousin, and my aunt care for grandma in those last two days we were all together. They took care of her with the utmost respect, love, and admiration. It was an honor watching them give of their lives to see to her every need. As my mom told me through tears, she was so thankful that God allowed her to be a part of the last three years of gram’s life since her diagnosis. He granted my mom a special, intimate love for my grandma. I will forever remember those two days with such such fondness.

A day after returning home, I woke up with the flu. It was my first time getting the flu and it was no joke. John selflessly looked after me and ran to the store multiple times for prescriptions, Gatorade, and anything else I needed. The day after I came down with the flu, I had to pull myself out of bed, despite a raging fever, to bring Milo the bun to the vet to be spayed. She pulled through but ended up needing another full day at the vet because she wasn’t handling the pain well. There were a few times when I legitimately thought we might lose her too.

Now we’re in the second week of the year and things are looking up. Grandma’s condo has been packed up, and life looks different in Stuart, Florida without her there. My flu is dying down and I’m back at work after a long break. Milo is finally eating again and getting into more trouble than before. Johnny boy somehow avoided the flu and is back to training for a marathon.

I’ve never been one to have a distinct word pop into my brain at the start of a new year as some do. But God made it abundantly clear that my focus for 2019 is healing. Healing from the hurts that 2018 brought. Healing physically from sickness. Healing emotionally from loss. And helping those around me who are in a season of healing as well. There are things I’ve held onto that I really need to let go of. And 2019 is the year for healing in all areas of life.

What is your word for the year?

2 thoughts on “A Look Back at the End of 2018 (+ my word for 2019)”

  1. Your Gram is the best! And what a legacy of love she and your Grandfather have left behind. I can’t remember ever being at such a worship-love-filled funeral. Your family is so special. Glad you’re feeling better. It was so good to see you. , I’ll be praying for you..

  2. Thank you for putting into words all those feelings and emotions. Moms final chapter here on earth was a beautiful one, especially those last few precious days. That God allowed for you to be there meant the world to me! None of us knew that it was to be her last few days. Only God knew for sure, and He worked it all out for mom and for us. He is such a good Father.
    Love you Haley ❤️

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