Saying goodbye to 2016 will be one of the easiest things we could ever do! This has been the hardest year of our adult life!!
The hard stuff started with Richard working a 100 day shut down. As if working shift work was not hard enough on both of us…The plant expected him to work 12/12’s in a row, take one day off, and return to work on the 14th day. Supper tough when transitioning from night shift to day shift as he slept his days off away!
Then, we decided to sell our home. Our grandson’s wife came in and helped us sell most of our furniture and interior decor only to discover our contract fell through…The buyers backed out! So, I redecorated the whole house again. Soon after we were settled in, our daughter and son-in-law approached us with a plan to downsize our lives and build a smaller more efficient home. After much discussion we were all in and placed the house on the market again. Before we knew it the house was sold and we were moving all our belongings into storage and we moved in with our daughter and son-in-law. Yep, that was the plan…Live with the kids while we built a house.
We found our land, our builder, and the process was in full motion! We worked the land, installed the culverts, obtained permits, had the electricity ran and we were well on our way then the neighborhood flooded. While where the house would sit was above the flood plain the roads to our land was under water. The flood delayed the building process and provided us more time with the kids. Then on July 30th our son-in-law presented an alternate plan…”Why don’t you just live with us rather than build? It just makes sense” he said. He offered us the second story of their home and again, after much discussion we were on board! He relocated his game room and we moved upstairs!
Also, during that same time Richard took a new job! He was finally going to be able to work Monday-Friday with weekend and holidays off. Woohoo…I had waited over 28yrs for a “Normal” life!!!
So, with us simplifying our lives and reducing our cost of living, I decided to retire. I gave my notice on August 1st. One day later we learned of our oldest daughter’s death. Tori lived in Austin and had passed away on July 31st but because we had move, they had a difficult time locating us. Our world as we knew it was rocked to the core and a giant hole was carved out of our hearts…The following days and weeks were a daze. We had a memorial service for Tori and celebrated her precious life. I am not sure we would have made it through those days without the support of Brandi, Robi, Cheyenne, and the kind words from family and friends.
Soon we realized we needed to get back to some resemblance of a life so we started the daunting task of emptying the storage buildings…4 of them to be exact! It was good to have something to keep our minds occupied because our hearts were aching! We sold, donated, and gifted people with our “stuff” by the trailer loads! It was hard to believe all we had worked for our entire married life was gone in less than 2 months!!!
Once we finished all the hard work of downsizing we decided to buy a 5th wheel so we could do a little traveling. Richard’s schedule was 4/10’s with every Fri, Sat, and Sun off which was perfect for some weekend traveling! That is until what would be a 3yr assignment turned into 3 months and he finds himself without work.
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3
While 2016 has been filled with mourning and despair, God has been faithful and provided us with beauty for ashes:
- We have a gift of a lifetime given to us by our daughter and son-in-law. One of family, love, laughter, and simplicity
- We have witnessed our granddaughter Cheyenne enjoy being drum major this year
- We have an income and our financial needs are met
- We have a home
- We have each other
- We know we WILL see Tori again
It Has Been A Hard Year…But God has held us Beneath His Sheltering Wings and Close to His Heart and His Promises Are My Hope for 2017
We wish you a Healthy, Happy, and Prosperous New Year
Richard & Lee