December 31st - New Year's Eve. An ending of one year and the birth of another. It is difficult to turn on any channel without stumbling upon a list. You know the ones. The look back's ... the retrospectives ... the who did it best ... who wore it best ... and let us not forget the worsts. There are lists of celebrity passing's. Lists of events. Lists of tragedies. Lists upon lists upon lists.
So, you know I had to do mine. Oh come on, you saw that coming - didn't you? ;-)
I am feeling very nostalgic but also very grateful for this past year. Yes, you heard me right! 2012 has brought many memorable moments to my life. And I just want to take a moment to honor this year before it is forever gone.
What better way to begin a year than with a move? I ended 2011 surrounded by boxes and disarray. Preparing for the move to my new home only two short weeks after the beginning of 2012. Although the move wasn't smooth (are they ever?) it turned out to be all that I had hoped. A nice new place and the beginning of a new chapter of my life!
In March I got to speak with my Dad and wish him a Happy Birthday. Those who have been following along, know that I had only found my father recently and thus know how special this day was for both of us.
May: I packed my bags, dropped my dog off and boarded a train for the first time in my life. 4 hours later I got off the train in Smiths Falls and a short drive later, I was sitting in the sunroom with my dad!! We got to spend a couple of days together. We talked, shared, laughed. I got to hug and kiss him. A weekend I will never - ever forget. Moments I will treasure for ten lifetimes.
I remember my first night there, sitting outside on the back porch, everyone else was in the house. I was listening to the quiet of the night .. and the soft chatter from inside. I remember the moment it hit me ... "I am sitting at my dad's house." It felt so weird. But so so good at the same time. I felt whole. I felt peace.
Father's Day, a day that I dreaded every year for my whole life. I remember in school when we would have to make Father's Day cards ... I didn't have a Father. It was so hard. It was Father's Day 2011 when I found my dad ... and this year would be the first time I would buy a Father's Day card ... put my heart in it ... and my Dad would receive it ... and read it. The first time I would be able to pick up the phone and say "Happy Father's Day, Dad!". I will never forget that phone call. One of our last calls. Dad was still lucid. We spoke of it also being our Anniversary. Another memory that I will carry in my heart.
Another first that took place in June was when Bentley and I went to Woofstock. I had always wanted to go but lived too far to be trucking down on the public transit with Bentley. But this year we got to go. Turns out that my new place is about a 20 min walk from the festival. Awesome!! It was so hot that day and all I could do was laugh as I watched Bentley galloping in the water fountains with all of the other doggies. 4 hours of furry canine fun. I know he had fun. We both did!
July 31st - I am another year older. 44 years old in fact! I remember being in my 30's and thinking how much I was looking forward to my 40s. I wonder what that was about? lol All in all I have to say that so far - they haven't been too bad. Although I now find myself looking towards the 50s - and I must admit; that kinda freaks me out!!
Less than two short weeks following my birthday, brought one of the darkest days of my life. My dad left this earth. My mind - my logic knows that he is no longer in pain. That his body is now free of disease. That he is with God, who he loved and served. That he is in a better place. My heart doesn't care. I am not sure that I will ever really get over the loss of my dad. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him. Not a day goes by that my heart doesn't know a piece of it is missing.
The end of August didn't' come with a first, but a first in a long, long time. My handsome Godson joined me for a day under the sweltering sun at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition). I hadn't been in probably 25 years - and had so many memories of all of the summers spent there in my childhood. We had an amazing time on the midway with the games and exhibits .. the endless food and let us not forget the Air Show. The green frog I won playing the bowling game, now hangs on the corner of my mirror in my bedroom. And I smile when I see it every day - reminded of the fun time Matt and I had that day!
In September I got to meet two friends of mine, who I have known for about ten years online, but had never met in person! They were on a trip to Niagara Falls and we had arranged for them to come over to Toronto before heading back to Maine. We had an awesome time! How fantastic it was to spend time with them both. I brought them to another childhood favorite of mine, the Riverdale Farm. We took loads of pictures there and really got to relax and walk around the huge, picturesque property. I use to love going there as a child, not only to see the animals but I love how it is really a piece of country in the city. When you are there, you would never imagine that the hustle and bustle of Yonge / Dundas Sq is only 15 minutes away. The animals, the nature ... so Zen. I love it. And I am glad that I got to share it with Lori and Laura - and plan on seeing them next year in D.C.!!
The end of September my beautiful daughter and I went to the top of Toronto ... way, way, up to the top of the CN Tower. Yet another place I had not been to in many decades. I sense a pattern here. It occurs to me as I write this that 2012 really represents a year of firsts - as in childhood, many experiences are firsts. And this year, whether literal firsts - or firsts in a long time ... it is almost like a reliving of my childhood.
Natasha and I had a marvelous day. We did the multi levels of the Tower and enjoyed a lunch together, took tons of pictures of Toronto and of ourselves together. We then walked around by the Rogers Ctr - taking more pics. It was a beautiful day and I am so glad that I got to spend it with my favorite girl.
October brought Thanksgiving and a 10 day visit with the sweet, sweet Lyric. Needless to say I had a lot to be thankful for this year. Amidst the pain and the sorrow in losing my dad ... I did get to spend time with him ... I did get to make memories with him ... and ... well .... ok ... I'm working on the gratitude part outshining the sadness of losing him.
Lyric's visit was delightful, she is a whippet, who belongs to a friend of mine, she spent ten days with me in my home, and really became a member of the family quite quickly. We gathered up all of the dogs, Bentley, Lyric, her sister Cappuccino, and her canine cousin Sniper and spent and afternoon at the dog park. It was a fun day! Bentley adores the park and what better than to show up with his own posse? LOL
December brings not only the end of the year, but also the day in which we celebrated the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays - possibly my ultimate favorite. And this year was the first Christmas in my new home. Sort of full circle.
I prepared a fantastic dinner - if I do say so myself. lol And shared the night with my sisters and my daughter. Oh - and Zack the rabbit! Who found a girlfriend in my sweet Zoe! LOL I wish I had a video camera on hand when the two of them first met. You could almost hear the singing of 'can you feel the love tonight?' A real Simba and Nala moment if I ever saw one!
We watched movies and drank and ate and drank and ate.... and oh how we laughed! I had a beautiful night - which lasted until nearly dawn. Perfect.
December also brought a couple of milestones for Enchanted Essence, which is an extension of myself. Not only did we hit 10,000 views on November 6th, but less than two months later, we reached 15,000!! With viewers from more than ten countries around the world!! What better way to celebrate EE's 3rd birthday and the new domain; enchantedessence.ca. I am super proud and super happy!!
And so, there are some of the highlights and lowlights of my year. 2012, a memorable year for so many reasons. And like I said before - really a year of youth. I'm not saying that there weren't moments of hard times. But all in all I have to say it was a beautiful year. And even though I lost someone so special to me ... I know that we will be together again one day. And that nothing will come between us. That we will have eternity together. And in the meantime, I have another Guardian Angel watching over me ... cheering me on.
I have to say that I am really looking forward to 2013. In addition to my trip to D.C. - which, by the way will be my first time on a plane. *ACK* I also plan on going to Casa Loma, hitting Woofstock again .... and many other adventures with the people that I love.
So, thank you 2012 for the memories. For the laughter. For the great times. For the blessings.
And Welcome 2013 - I rise up to greet you and cannot wait to receive all of the blessings that you will bring!!