The Year That Was


Well.  I think I’ve managed to climb out from under the Christmas tornado that has taken over my house.  What a week.

I’ve been busy.  There was, of course, this.



And this.


And this. (More on this soon.)


And today, this.


Because quality control testing is important.  And it’s midnight somewhere.


And here we are, the last day of the year.  The truth is that I always get a little bluesy after Christmas is over.  As much insanity, planning and chaos is involved, I do love it — and I’m sad whenever it comes to an end.

And as 2011 winds down, I’m thinking about the ups and downs of the year and how, as usual, incredibly quickly it flew by.

2011 was the year I stopped working.  The year my kids turned four and two.  The year we began (but did not finish!) the longest basement renovation in modern American history.  The year my family vomited in multiple states up and down the east coast to mark each road trip and vacation.

But more than anything, 2011 will always be the year that I lost my dear friend Jen.  And I have spent more hours than I can count since that last day of May wondering how this happened.  On certain days, I still wonder if, in fact, it’s actually true that my healthy, magnetic 38 year-old friend of 27 years went to bed one night and didn’t wake up.

My mind has turned to Jen every day — multiple times a day — since she passed away.  I keep her picture up on my fridge, which sounds terribly unsentimental, but it’s the highest trafficked area of my house.  I’m forced to walk by it a lot.  And every time, I look at her photo and wish so much that she was here.  For her kids and for her husband and for her parents and brother.  And for all of her friends who loved her so much.

I found myself thinking of her even more during the holidays.  I played my Christmas music, baked my cookies, bought my gifts, asked for my Keurig.  And wondered, every step of the way, how her family was going to get through this season without her.

I’m not the preachy type.  But I’ll ask you for something as you think about the 2011 that was, and the new year around the corner.  Please think about my friend Jen once in a while — even if you never knew her.  Trust me, you would have loved her.  Please think about her six year-old son and her four year-old twin daughters.  Please think about her husband and her parents, who somehow carry on with so much dignity to be there for those kids.  And please think about how quickly things can change.  Because, in a million years, you never could have convinced me that we’d all live in a world without Jen’s unforgettable laughter.

You would think that I’d come out the other side of this whole thing being a better adjusted person.  Not sweating the small stuff.  Having better perspective.  Living for the moment.  All of that.  The truth is, I’m working on it.  And maybe 2012 will be the year I pull it off.  For Jen.

In the meantime, I wish you all full champagne glasses at midnight, and a wonderful year ahead.

And if someone can take the rest of these Christmas cookies off my hands, that would be great.



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  1. Debbie says:

    I keep Jen’s picture in my wristlet…my most highly trafficked area. 😉 I too think of her, and her children, and her husband and parents often…like whenever I hear Guns N Roses on the radio. I will never forget the shock and awe of your phone call…or mine to Greg shortly thereafter.

    Jen’s passing was the sad hallmark of 2011 and I can honestly say that, since June 1st, I’ve cherished…everything. I don’t think I ever truly cherished anything until I put myself in her place, in her husband’s place, in her parents’ place… everyday.

    Happy 2012, Kim. We’ll celebrate soon with a toast to your best friend.

  2. You should know that I want to gobble up your children whenever I see those sweet faces on your blog.

    On the opposite end of the emotion spectrum, few things make me sadder than when I hear of a mother taken too soon from her family.

    I’m sad about your loss. But after reading the Guns N’ Roses comment, I’m smiling a little. (Huge GNR fan!) So I’ll raise my glass to you and your friend at midnight. Keep her on your fridge and in your heart, always.

  3. Alicia says:

    Jen and her family are on my mind often. Which means I am thinking of you…

  4. I will think about your friend Jen, just as I think about my friend Jane, who was taken way too early and left behind a young son.

    I wish you and your family much happiness in 2012.

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