MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM IDAHO!!
This Christmas letter may seem lame because you are not receiving it in your mailbox. And, hey, I LOVE nice mail in my box just like anyone else. That said, I'm hoping you will let me slide (for this year at least) as I let you ride on the Passanando Rollercoaster!
I'm going to start in the last part of the year since nothing terribly interesting happened until then anyway.
Christopher started attending kindergarten this last August and he LOVES it! His schedule has him going every Wednesday and Friday, and every other Monday...sort of. This can be a little confusing but seeing as we only have the one kid and our lives revolve around entertaining him (for the most part this is true), we've got the hang of it pretty well I think. Christopher misses school when he's not there and FINALLY learned the days of the week so he can anticipate his next school day.
Another first, I started working...again...after nearly an eight-year absence. This was something I felt was necessary. Not so much for financial reasons but something more spiritual in a way. It's difficult to explain, but suffice it to say, my puny little, minimum wage, pizza and sub making job helped me immensely! Weird, I know, but it helped to kick start me out of a five year slump so no complaints here. I have since quit this job, but more on that later.
Ben, of course, is the big story of the year. The day Christopher went into school and a week before I started work, Ben had what was supposed to be a relatively simply surgery to correct some damage done from the necrotizing fasciitis. What really happened was a two hour-hour-surgery-turned-six-hour-surgery, and extensive reconstructive surgery, and hernia repairs. He was anticipated to fully recover from the original surgery roughly two weeks, but because the damage was so great and his body not functioning for years, recovery took two MONTHS. BUT we have AMAZING medical staff including a wonderful doctor who worked on Ben like he was doing surgery on his mother. He took great care in getting Ben to a state that was most optimized but never thought of as a reality until now!
Ben is now better than he was five years ago and many things are looking up for him. We are also anticipating another try at the therapy grad program for Ben at Idaho State University (ISU). Nothing will be known for certain until the middle of next year, so please pray, cross your fingers, or think good thoughts for Ben please?
I also plan on school this coming year. I will be attending the same ISU this Spring part-time for the pre-PTA (Physical Therapy Assistant) program. I will be applying for the full program later in the year in hopes of getting in for the Fall 2015 semester. I have a few things in my favor: I already have an AAS (Associates Degree), I've studied and practiced massage therapy for 10 years +, and believe it or not, being a non-traditional student (older than 25 years old) is REALLY in my favor! I have a mentor helping through the process and plenty of support from friends in the area. I'm also up for another part-time job on campus. I'm hoping to earn a little cash while learning how to manage my time better in time for a full-time school schedule.
Remember when I said the pizza shop helped me in a strange way? Like I mentioned, I've been in a five-year slump, depression really, where I couldn't think of a reason to smile despite obvious reasons all around me. I felt the job would benefit me in some way, but only financially because I couldn't see it any other way. But something inside of me changed. I felt a mental and almost physical "click" inside of me and my whole outlook on life changed! I feel like ME again...but BETTER! I smile and laugh, I'm happy and enjoying life again! The only difficult thing really has been trying to figure life out post crisis-mode. It's been slow-going, like trying to run through thick mud, but I know I can do it and that it will get easier.
Troubles and trials are not gone, but the dark way in which I saw them has. We are all starting to become the family we were meant to be!
From the Passanandos