Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year in Review - 2015!

While I may not have been blogging, it has been one heck of a year. Unlike the past few years, there have been some very difficult times as well as some really unexpected things that were pretty darn amazing. Life has been very steady and good for quite a while so I guess it was time to shake things up a bit. Not one to disappoint, God provided. I could say it was a difficult year because there were some really difficult times, but there were too many wonderful things thrown in to feel sorry for myself.

Unfortunately I had to say good-bye to my furry companion who had been my buddy for over 12 years, the Charlie dog. Charlie started showing signs of not feeling too well around August, and a trip to Vet confirmed that he was fighting cancer. He lost his fight after Thanksgiving, but he had a lot of great years. When I got him, he had just been rescued by a place that saved him from sure death - a high kill shelter.  The way I see it is that every day he received after that was a bonus day, and he received a lot of bonus days! We had also adopted Honey Bear so he would have a companion, and it was easy to see how much happier he was with her around. I think he stuck around a bit longer for her. I sure do miss him!

Things on the job front changed as well - multiple times! My project manager and good friend took a job with another company, and it changed the entire landscape of our project. Our company also merged with another larger company.

I soon switched to another project which helped me to realize how awesome my last project manager was, as if I didn't already know that. He and I were friends for a long time, and I miss our discussions and brain storming sessions. I don't know if we could have solved all the world's problems, but I think we could have checked a few of them off of the list.  With the big change at work, I decided it was time to look for another job. Whammo presto! God provided in record time. I will start with a new company in the New Year. I am definitely going to miss my SRA Dayton friends.

My coworker, friend, and breakfast buddy also lost her fight with cancer. It was very sudden and very sad. Karyl always had a smile on when I'd walk into her office. I'm not exactly sure when our friendship began, but it was years ago. We'd go and get tea together almost every morning around 10am. Tea time! That eventually turned into ladies' breakfast every few weeks with Karyl, Karrie (Karyl's daughter), Linda, Mom and me. Karyl's funeral was yesterday, and I still cannot believe we never get to have another tea or another breakfast together. I know she belongs to God, but her leaving is still a very difficult thing. It's been years since I've shed this many tears.

So that was a lot of rough stuff for one year, but I cannot possibly ignore all the great things that have happened as well. My mom's appendix ruptured while I was out of town.  Well, actually, it ruptured before I left but we didn't know it. I had a call on my voicemail from mom after I finished a 50 mile race, "Cassie, I am on my way to the emergency room. The doctor says my appendix ruptured." I was in Montana. Mom was in Ohio. I felt my heart sink and fear gripped me, but I was already planning to leave for home early the next morning. This could have ended terribly, but it didn't! After a week in the hospital, mom was released. A few months later, she had that bad little appendix removed laparoscopically. Thank you, God! I'm chalking that up in the good category.

The other huge, and rather remarkable thing, is that I got married - at the age of 39. Over the years I learned that I could find joy being single and that it didn't make me less valuable even if society might hint (or shout) otherwise. Life was good, and I liked my life as it was. I had spoken to Jim a few times over the years, but it took us a long time to actually go on a date.  Actually, it first started with going on runs which turned into getting food after running, which turned into dates, and more runs.  I liked Jim. He liked me. We had a lot in common, and we enjoyed spending time together.

My handsome groom
I remember once upon a time Mr. Gray asked if a guy I was dating treated me well. I couldn't honestly answer that question with a yes then.  Well, Mr. Gray, I can now honestly say yes. Jim treats me well. He's a good man. You'd like him.

Marrying Jim also brought other people into my life: his daughter and his family. They all treat me like family, and I couldn't ask for a better group of folks to call family.

Jim, I am thankful to have you in my life!

We will be sharing our new adventure in a new blog.

While it seemed as if this year brought a huge amount of change in my life, there were some constants that I am so very thankful for. My tough mom who wanted to go shopping despite an appendix rupture. She took pain medication only after they told her she couldn't leave the hospital. This year I was also able to spend some time with my sister from another mother and friend of almost 20 years, Mary, who is now US Army (Retired)!

I am also thankful for all my other friends who've shared this year's journey with me. It's crazy to think I know so many wonderful people. I can't imagine what life would be like without you all. Thank you for being so awesome. Happy New Year!