I would love to say that 2013 was a great year, but if I am being honest, it really kind of sucked. I would call it the year of me finally growing up, or the year of the rug being pulled out from under me. There were some good moments, although, it’s hard to bring them to mind most of the time. I’m not disappointed to have it behind me.
Here’s a recap of our year:
It started last January with a trip back to Michigan to spend time with my mother-in-law who was very sick with cancer. We were uncertain about how much time we had left with her, so we packed up and headed north. We had a good time with family, but it was obvious that my MIL’s (that’s what I referred to her as) health was failing fast. While we were up north, my husband received a few work emails that were troubling and indicated that some changes were coming where he works. After spending two weeks in Michigan, we headed home and it was very hard to say goodbye to my MIL when it was obvious she was so sick.
When we got home, Glen went back to work only to receive the news that three-quarters of the people in the plant where he works were getting laid off. It was a huge layoff and a very emotional time for him. We were scared that he would be losing his job too and we had just bought this farm. Needless to say, we had a HUGE wakeup call with how our finances were being handled and we knew that from that day forward we would rid ourselves of the slavery of debt. When you are sitting on a pile of debt and looking at losing your only income (did I mention my MIL was very sick too….), it’s a very scary situation.
My husband ended up being one of the few they kept on at the plant. With this God given extra time, we went to work with selling and paying things off. We were still dealing with the job situation and the stress of all of that when we received a phone call from my sister-in-law in Michigan. She said she really needed help taking care of mom and that mom was not doing very well. My MIL was taken to the hospital on Easter Day, 2013. Once again, we packed our bags and we were on our way north. I packed enough to stay for a long period of time to help get her stronger if that’s what was needed.
When we arrived our intentions were to get her stronger and healthier so that she could come home, but that didn’t happen. We spent two straight weeks in the hospital sleeping in her room with her and then the news came that there was nothing else they could do for her. We brought her home and cared for her for eight days until she passed away peacefully on April 18th.
Taking care of my MIL is the hardest thing I have ever done. There were days I didn’t think I could go on doing it. My sister-in-law and I were her nurses for twenty-four hours a day the last eight days of her life. We also stayed with her for two weeks prior to that at the hospital sleeping on very uncomfortable recliners and getting no sleep from the sounds that hospitals make all night long. I never thought I was a strong person since I tend to avoid hard situations at all costs, but I love my MIL and my sister-in-law, and I wasn’t about to abandon them during this time. I have never been more sleep deprived and emotionally exhausted…EVER.
Her funeral took place on April 23rd and we proceeded to leave for home in Kentucky after that. Between our first trip to Michigan and our second we bought chickens and ducks to raise, and unfortunately, we had to give them away because we just didn’t know how long we would be gone.