2015 was a monumental year. A lot of shit happened. Some really great things, and some pretty horrible stuff. It will definitely be a year that I will never forget.
Running continued to be a big part of my life. I ran my first marathon in June and so for the first half of 2015, I ran a LOT. Training for a marathon was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I never missed a run and as much as those really long runs (14 miles or longer) sucked, I never quit. The marathon itself was even harder. It ended up being really hot that day and the race course had a lot of hills and much of the race was on paved roads with no shade. The first 8 miles were fine, but those last 18.2 miles were done with sheer will. I honestly don’t know how I did it. My husband was there on his bike cheering me on and pushing me the whole way and he didn’t let me quit. It is one of the most proudest moments of my life.
I got a new tattoo, and I got to add 26.2 onto an already existing running-themed tattoo.
Our family went on a totally EPIC vacation in May. We visited my friend in Arizona who I hadn’t seen in over 25 years. We visited the Grand Canyon. We did the trip in a car and our family hasn’t had that much together-time in a very long time and I wouldn’t have traded that time for anything.
Shit hit the fan shortly after that. In July our youngest daughter, who was 19 at the time, went into the ER with horrible stomach and back pain. A CT scan revealed a really huge mass in her right ovary. Emergency surgery revealed a football-sized mass. It ended up being cancerous. Kayla ended up undergoing another surgery and then 12 weeks of chemotherapy. We spent much of our summer and part of fall in the hospital.
But then in December, we were told that Kayla is in remission and life is good again. We received the best Christmas present ever! And our family gets to celebrate Christmas together at home!
It’s only been a few weeks since we received that good news, so Kayla and the rest of us are all still trying to return to a “normal” life. We’re not even sure what “normal” is anymore. When a traumatic event like that happens in your life, your world turns upside down. You learn which family members and friends you can count on during a crisis, and you’re stunned and overwhelmed by the kindness of those you barely know. An event like this dramatically changes your perspective on things.
2016 will be a year of picking up pieces; perhaps even starting over in some aspects. Our family is still struggling a bit with wondering, “Now what?” It’s like waking up from a horrible nightmare. You’re relieved it’s over, but you’re still shaken by it.
But that’s the beauty of a new year, right? It’s like a clean slate. 2015 is almost done, almost behind us. I can’t predict what 2016 will bring, but if I learned anything from 2015, it’s that I am strong, courageous, and resilient, and I can get through whatever life throws at me.