Each December my mom has this tradition where she asks us to share a few key moments of our year. She likes to call this little Q. and A. session "Highlights/Lowlights." I shared my "Higlights/Lowlights" online in 2009 and 2010, but 2011 slipped away from me before I could properly review all that had happened. Since my birthday isn't too far into 2012 I'll use it as my excuse for a little look back.
Here you have it--28, A Year in Review.
|a very special 28th birthday bash (photo by Jill)|
|desert nights//flying my kite (photo by Hannah)|
|kayaking in the mangroves (photo by Ina)|
|riding the fastest roller coaster in the world! (photos courtesy of Jill)|
|dhows and dolphins in Oman|
|may 25: lymph node biopsy (photo by Hannah)|
|comfort--the kind that only dads can give (photo by Wendy)|
|hiking the chuckanuts (photo by Dave)|
|molly, caitlin, galen (photo by Wendy)|
|Caitlin graduates from nursing school! (photo by Dave)|
|june 25: surgery in Missouri; laser beams coming out of my nose; and a reunion with Kiely, my best friend from high school (photo by Dave)|
|4th of July: sparklers in the city (photo by Jill)|
|last day of school! (photo by Jill)|
|our friend, cheyenne // crazy hair (photo by Fi)|
|sister time (photo by Caitlin)|
|staying cool during Ramadan|
|buzz cut! (photo by Hannah)|
|infusion center (photo by Jenny) // Jollytime in Bangladesh (photo by Jill)|
|mom at the emirates palace|
|sunset in the desert|
|60th birthday celebration//get well flowers|
|national day at my new school|
|travelating in Bangladesh (photo by Jill)|
|home for the holidays|
|recovery! (photo by Jill) // Bahrain|
|YAY! celebratory campfires|
|sunny winter afternoons (photo by Jill)|
|weekend getaways // turtles on the beach (one of my very favorite moments of the year)|
Highlights: an amazing weekend in Washington where I was able to see my whole family; the ways people reached out to me when I was sick; having friends all over the world; a sister road trip to Salalah; the care and compassion my nurses showed me; a serendipitous trip to China; mom's visit to Abu Dhabi; Dr. Kristensen; having a job & a way to support myself; watching the turtles nesting on the beach; podcasts; Christmas & New Years at home; Dr. Stangier; biking to work; campfires & camping trips; warm, sunny days; the people at Crossroads; 2 successful surgeries; full coverage health insurance (hamdillah!); wonderful coworkers who rallied around me; Jollytime Bengali Edition; a whole month of sister time; the "I ♥ Molly" video masterminded by Rosie & Brie; weekend getaways with friends; clean scans; so many people who were in the just the right place at just the right time to help me when I needed it most; REMISSION!
Lowlights: trying to balance work & life; feeling lonely; bed bugs; watching friends' marriages unravel; going through chemo so far from home.
28 wasn't my best year . . . but it was still a good year. A lot of hard stuff happened that I did not expect. But because of all the bad stuff, somehow a lot of good stuff happened, too. God promises us that all things work together for good and even though I don't understand it, I saw it in action. 28 was pretty powerful in that way. You should ask me about it sometime.
Tomorrow is my birthday. Until this point I've always automatically expected to make it to the next one--the possibility of not turning a year older wasn't really even on my radar. It's weird to think that under different circumstances, I might not be getting the chance to experience 29. For that reason, this birthday feels more like a celebration. Conversely, it feels a bit somber, too--a reminder that another year isn't something to just take for granted.
Hello, 29. Nice to see you.
It's good to be alive.