Let's just say 2010 has proven to be a difficult year. Yes, things could always be worse, but for someone who has had their fair share of heartache and strife, I (Loyce) thought that 2010 would bring nothing but beatitude. However, it has turned out to be quite the opposite. I usually try to stay positive because, after all, even on my worst days many people have hardships that I could never imagine living with. All that being said, I would like to share with you all who choose to read this some of the misfortune that we have faced. Maybe you can find comfort in our story or realize that bad things happen to good people. Each event in and of itself would not be catastrophic, but layer them and, well, you have a recipe for a mental and/or nervous breakdown. I have taken the attitude that Chris has possessed over the years: "Oh, well. There is nothing we can do about it now. Worrying yourself will only make you sick." I think this is probably the best approach. Maybe you will agree.
In January, shortly after we learned of the earthquake that struck Haiti, I received news that our sponsor child from Port-au-Price was reported as a casualty. This was devastating news. Even though I has never met the child face-to-face, we were linked. We exchanged letters consistently for years and James would have been 6 on February 20, 2010. Sympathy words and cards were sent from the organization we were sponsoring through, but very few words can console your grieving heart. At the same time I felt as though I had no right to grieve this child's death that I had never met face to face. I constantly asked myself whether or not I sent enough letters and showed him enough love. [Thankfully, in early May, we received information that James was in fact alive and doing well with his family. They were able to seek shelter. They lost their home/farm and his school and church were destroyed. This news was AMAZING. I have even received one letter from him with a sweet drawing which made my heart smile.]
At the end of January/beginning of February, Chris and I learned that we were expecting. This was a joyous occasion and one we wanted to celebrate with family. We waited a few weeks before telling close family and friends. Everyone we told seemed to be as happy as we were. This confirmed my earlier belief that 2010 would be one filled with blessings (a truth I am still holding on to even in the midst of turmoil). Pregnancy suited me well. I was happy and already planning the nursery just a few weeks in. Things really couldn't have been better. I had many visits to the doctor since we believed I had an early miscarriage in December. I knew that this would be the one. We would welcome our little bundle of joy in October right before our fourth anniversary. Timing couldn't have been better. I made the decision to not go back to teaching in the fall. Soon after our news Chris received a generous raise that would allow me to stay at home with no worries. Blessings were literally falling all around us. However, my mental status changed when I woke up one morning in March bleeding. I knew then that something was terribly wrong. All the symptoms had vanished. No nausea. No tenderness. No peace. Just a void. I will spare you all the details, however the next four days were horrific. Try to imagine someone ripping your insides out and taking along your joy, hopefulness, happiness and peace. I was broken. Confused. Angry. Depressed. Vengeful. Envious. Self-loathing. Doubtful. Just plain pitiful. Again, no words, kind gestures, thoughts, cards, or food could help numb the pain. However, I turned to the only thing that could bring me peace. God. I went through a Bible study called Shiloh from the Watermark Church. I met some courageous ladies during my journey to healing. I can say now that I know something good will come out of this experience and I would not trade this burden with anyone. It is my load to bear with some amazing help that can only come from one source. This event, as difficult and heart wrenching as it has been, has brought Chris and I closer together.
After this blow we were able to celebrate with a purchase of a new car for me. My first new car mind you. I waited for this particular car. A Toyota Highlander has been a dream car/SUV for me. Ask anyone who knows me well. They will concur. However before reaching 3,000 miles in my first brand new car I was in a wreck on 635. Thankfully I was not injured severely and my car is repairable. I know what you are thinking. No, it was not my fault. I am actually a really good driver even though I am a woman. Any damage a car of mine has taken has never been my fault. It has either been parked or backed into or both. This, however, was not the case this time. I was heading east on the 635 bridge from 75 when a car in front of me slowed to a stop. (I later learned that he ran out of gas). I had enough time to slow down and try to get in the next lane. (The ramp has two lanes and I was in the far left. Also, the ramp does not have a shoulder where the gentleman could have pulled over out of the way of traffic). Just as there was an opening I heard a horrible screeching sound. I was jolted two car spaces ahead barely missing Mr. Genius in front of me who decided it would be a bright idea to get out of his car and stand behind it. Needless to say, my brand new car didn't possess a bumper anymore. The boy-genius who hit my car and gave me a pretty painful case of whiplash tried to convince me to take my car to his body shop so he could "take care of [my] damages on the house." Really, you think? Yea, I better not have to pay anything. However, I have heard this song and dance before and asked for his insurance. At first he tried to show me insurance for a 2006 BMW that was expired. I looked at the insurance and back at his 2004 Toyota Corolla and laughed. I then requested the correct and current insurance. After some searching, he finally found the correct information. Again he tried to convince me with all his mental acuity that there was no need to involve his insurance. This worried me that perhaps he was not covered, so I verified his insurance before leaving the scene of the accident in the tow truck. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but unfortunately for this guy he will be paying for not only my car repairs but my medical bills for a while.
You are probably thinking, "Well, that has to be it. This is enough suffering. End of story, right?" Wrong. In the middle of April we lost a great man. Russell V. Dargel. A man of virtue. Probably one of the strongest workers I have ever met. Chris' grandfather. He died at the age of 90. He was a legend in boating and an amazing carpenter. Would have given Noah and Jesus a run for their money. If you would like to read more about his amazing legacy: http://texasflycaster.com/russell-dargel/ or http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/themonitor/obituary.aspx?n=russell-vernon-dargel&pid=141857326 . This loss, even though granddaddy lived an amazing life, was just one blow too many. His death has resulted in the heart-wrenching fact of needing to have round-the-clock care for his wife.
Unfortunately while wrapping up the school year I found out that my current employer would be shutting down the school - forcing myself and numerous others to look for teaching jobs in an already saturated job market. After a years of searching and finally securing a teaching position, this was not news I was excited to hear about.
Like I said: each of these events by themselves would not necessarily be too much for one person to handle. Death happens. Miscarriages happen more than most people realize. Material things rust and are destroyed. However within a short five month time span it can wear a person down.
There you have it. Our lives since January summed up in a nice, neat blog.
Oh yea, and I had to stand in line for 8 hours for the iPhone 4 that I already pre-ordered. That whomped.