Friday, March 2, 2012

28, A Year in Review

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)

skype dates
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)
sunny days
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.

♥, Molly


Jill said...

If I didn't know about all the bad stuff, I'd think you had a pretty sweet year. It was fun to look through all of those photos. So happy to celebrate your birthday and LIFE with you. Love you so much. More than you can know.

Happy Birthday, point me to the balloon!!!

joanne said...

Happy Birthday Miss Molly!

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday to you!!!! What a year you've had Molly. Hard to believe all of that happened in one year! You are one brave woman -- stronger than you give yourself credit for. Twenty nine will be an awesome year!

Lot of love and hugs,

Dad, Wendy, Reid, Wyatt, Walter, and Wi-NO-na :)

Molly said...

thanks everyone for the birthday love!

MissAnna said...

This is perfect. (And totally made me tear up.)
Hope you had a FANTASTIC birthday :-)

Robin Meyer said...

honestly brought me to tears friend. I love you. Beautiful year. lots of struggle, lots of joy. You are still and always in my prayers.