So, another year ends.

In 2001 I had a pretty horrible year. I got caught in the downturn of the economy for IT professionals and what should have been 1 or 2 weeks between jobs turned into 5 months. Then some shitheads flew a couple of planes into the World Trade Center, and what should have been 5 months turned into 8. I actually had 3 interviews lined up for the few days after 9/11, but by 9/12 every one of them closed their doors in a hiring freeze. I think the tragedy of 9/11 is exactly that. It was the worst single day in the lives of lots of people, but more than 2 years away from the shock and awe of that event, I mostly only recall that it extended my unemployment for 3 months, and added in excess of two thousand dollars to my already mountainous pile of debt.

In all honestly, when 2002 rolled around, I figured that I had just survived the worst year of my life. And as 2002 progressed, I felt that was accurate… until December 31st, 2002. That was the day my mother called me to let me know that she had cancer.

2003, as it turns out, would wind up dwarfing 2001 in personal pain and hardship. From day 1 life started to spiral downward as my mother started her chemo treatments. In February, we found out that the cancer was terminal, but that she had 2 years or more left because she was responding well to the treatment. In March, due to complications of a prior surgery, chemo had to be stopped and my mother entered the hospital. On March 17th, my mother came home from the hospital. Because the treatments had been stopped, and because of the prior surgery, the cancer had spread quickly. On March 26th, my mother passed away.

The rest of the year followed as many might expect. My mother was very important to me, and the loss of her darkened everything. Everyone in my family had to go through their first birthday without her around… first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, and first Christmas. 9 months later and everyone in my family is outwardly okay, but I know for myself that inside it still hurts.

So what does 2004 promise to bring?

More of the same unfortunately… Everyone keeps telling me it will get easier, but so far, the only person I believe is the one who said, “My father has been dead for 13 years, and it still hurts.” Hopefully though, there will be more to this year, and in some ways, after even only 2 days into it, there already is as I’ve been (sort of) given a promotion at work. No extra pay, but more responsibility. We’ll have to wait and see how that all works out…

2004… one day at a time…

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