Monday, 1 February 2021

How Was Your 2020? What Good Things Happened Last Year?

Christmas 2019 was wonderful. On December 15th we celebrated Dad's 90th birthday in great style at Penrith Rowers' Club. Dad turned 90 on the 19th, then our family celebrated Christmas together. I love Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus and spending time with loved ones. We had a marvellous time, Mum in particular savouring her portion of trifle and a small piece of my daughter-in-law's chocolate mousse cheesecake. So yummy 😋 

The new year came around quickly and everything seemed to be okay. Then on Monday, January 6th Mum was rushed to hospital in shocking pain. By the early hours of Friday, January 10th she had left us. The angels came and took her. She said she'd had a good life. Well she had, but I was hoping for more time. It's taken a long time to accept that Mum is no longer with us. Several times this past year I thought 'if only I could ring her', in fact a couple of times I began to do just that.

2020 was also the year of Black Summer, with bushfires burning uncontrollably over most of Eastern Australia. By the end of January we began to hear about this new coronavirus (COVID-19), but we didn't realise how bad things were going to get. My dear husband and I began to self-isolate sometime in February, to be on the safe side. Our birthdays came and went, but didnt go unnoticed as Dad spoiled us rotten. When March came along we had gone into official lock-down due to the virus. It was really hard for everyone, but when I saw the extent to which it was spreading, I felt grateful that Mum didn't have to cope with the situation. It was difficult to find things to be grateful for, but I know we all tried our best.

Mid-March rolled in and Dad became sick due to an infection in his prosthetic knee. He'd had this surgery in June 2019. The infection turned out to be golden staph, and poor Dad had another surgery spending six weeks in hospital. Restrictions due to the virus had increased and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't buy any toilet paper for love or money 😞 Although this virus didn't cause any problems of the gastric variety, people thought they may need truck loads of toilet paper 🤔 Supplies worsened as people made a rush for most staples.

June arrived, but it wasn't meant to be a good month either. My mother-in-law passed away. She was just two days older than Mum. She had made her 88th birthday, but wasn't truly aware of it. Winter was cold and lonely. I read so many books, it's a wonder I didn't go blind ... but I didn't and I'm grateful for that.

Once winter came to an end, with the promise of lovely spring weather, we were hopeful for a reprieve of restrictions, but the virus kept banging on everyone's door. People were sick, tired, out of work, and they still are. Businesses have closed never to reopen. 

October was a beautiful month. My grandson Matthias was born on the 30th ... what a blessing. Perhaps things would pick up now. Another baby was born in November, a beautiful little girl. My niece's second child, Lily Grace. However, during November Dad got another infection in his knee. This time he spent just six days in hospital, being sent home with portable IV antibiotics which had to be topped up every day. 'Okay', I thought, 'Dad will get better now and I can start planning a birthday lunch for him'. 

A few days before his birthday Dad became very ill. He thought he was dying. So did I. I called the priest to give last rights, then an ambulance. In hospital they discovered that Dad had an adverse reaction to the long-term antibiotics which had been saving his life. He now had kidney failure and neurological damage. My goodness, Dad couldn't even speak, and at one stage he didn't even recognise me. Lunch was cancelled. Christmas was cancelled. Dad turned 91 in hospital and had his Christmas lunch there. Could things get any worse?

The attending doctor rang me and told me to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Dad appeared to be slipping away ... but God doesn't put us through more than we can handle. Two days later Dad began to improve. Ever so slightly.  Little by little. The new antibiotics appeared to be working and Dad returned home from hospital on New Year's Day. Although he did go home a bit too soon, and consequently felt very weak for some time. However, he is now doing well physically. 

One thing I've learned during this past year is things happen, life happens, and we have no control over it. But no matter how alone we feel, we are never alone. He is always present.

'Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
So, after such a horribly difficult and sad year, how does one feel grateful? Good question isn't it?  

No worries,  I have a list 😃

• My dear mother is no longer in pain, and now dances and sings with the angels.

• Mum saw all her family before she passed away, including grandchildren and great grandchildren. She went peacefully with immediate family around her bedside.

• Two beautiful babies were born into my family in 2020.

• My father recovered against the odds. God knew better as He always does (but I still think maybe Dad's got nine lives 😃).

• I'm grateful for the wonderful friends who offered up prayers for me and my family during the difficult moments.

• I'm grateful to have so many genuine and sincere friends. Without them 2020 would have been unbearable. 

• I'm extremely grateful for one friend in particular. Victoria was always there even when she wasn't. Her sweet nature and generous hospitality made us all feel loved and treasured. Victoria would just ring me out of the blue to see how I was going, or she would send me encouraging text messages which cheered me up no end. She was always there, putting others before herself, with a smile on her beautiful face, until she finally succumbed to heart failure on this January 3rd after years of sickness and struggle. 

• I'm grateful to have so many beautiful children and grandchildren, (my sugar babies ♡ - currently a precious seven of them with number eight on its way ♡).

• I'm so thankful to be living in this beautiful country.

• Oh, and before I forget, I'm so happy that during 2020 l was able to read many fabulous books, including all twenty books of 'The Women's Murder Club' 📚📚📚 The twenty-first book is due to be on the shelves in March, so I patiently wait 😉😄

• Lastly, but certainly not least, since Mum passed away my bond with Dad has grown in leaps and bounds. We always loved and respected each other, but now I'm finding we are able to express our feelings for each other much more.


How about you? Did you survive 2020? I know most people struggled one way or another.
What coping methods did you use or invent? Do you have a gratitude list? I think it's a wonderful way to remind ourselves things could always be worse, and for many they have. Gratitude and thankfulness are what keeps our hearts beating and our souls dancing with joy.
Come, dance with me a while. I'd love to share your struggles and joyful moments in the past year 

About Josephine Anne Griffiths:

Josephine-Anne Griffiths has always had a passion for the written word, both reading and writing it. She is a professional editor and proofreader, who enjoys making the writing of others shine. Josephine is currently rewriting a fictional memoir ‘Charlie Dreams’. Josephine has also tried her hand at short story writing and poetry, with a poem published in Glimpses of Light Anthology. She also writes inspirational, narrative non-fiction with a fierce passion. Josephine-Anne, fondly known as Jo’Anne to family and dear friends, is happily married to Leon. They live at the base of Sydney’s beautiful Blue Mountains. Between them, they have six wonderful children, seven gorgeous grandchildren, and a sooky ‘jug’ dog called Toby. You will find Josephine either lost within a book, behind her keyboard, or in her garden daydreaming.

You will find Josephine's book reviews on Josephine's Bookshelf

You can contact Josephine via the following links:

Facebook: Josephine Anne Writes

Twitter: @BooksTeaAndMe57

No comments:

Post a Comment

I Nearly Lost Him

Dear friends,  My apologies. Yes, I have been missing in action for some time - coping as best I can with my husband's health, COVID-19 ...