In the last days of 2012, i find myself looking back on this eventful year, and notice the many changes in and around me.
In February, my beloved gramps finally passed away. He was 96, I believe, and died in his sleep. He is my father’s dad, so of course I felt some connection to him, beyond a typical grandpa-granddaughter relationship: I always had him on a pedestal, always loved him more than I could describe. Visits to his farm were filled with warmth, comfort, love and I will never forget his cute laugh or his strong hands. But over the years, Alzheimers took its toll, and he slowly forgot. And I moved away to college in 2004, so i only saw him only a handful of times since then. So it’s not surprising, really, when I did get a chance to visit him: “who are you? lois’ kids?” “no, we’re Robbie’s kids” “Oh, where’s Robbie?” “He died..” “Oh…” Sometimes mom would tell him Robbie just went to the store, because it was too hard to replay this conversation ten times or more during our visit. I think it was the last time when he thought we were from some magazine or something.
So when my mom called me after church to tell me he died, of course I had to go home right away, and I have no regrets about that, though it was costly, short, and sad, and another outcome was much less than desirable, I am very glad I went. My aunt and uncle also decided to have his memorial in the end of March, thankfully on my holidays, so I also went back to ontario for a week then.
March was an interesting month. I decided to not wash my hair with shampoo the entire month, just to experiment. It was gross. Will not do again. I also expanded my horizons: travelled to Calgary, Ottawa, and Montreal! Got to see some old friends and new places. Will do again.
In May, I got into a pretty intense fight with my (now ex-) roommate/friend, had two other (then mutual) friends get involved, as well as some family, a lawyer, and my nanny family. The short story is: I did what I could do to make it work with ex-roommate, let my friends bully me into doing something I really didn’t want to do, my mom helped us come to a compromise, but the friends couldn’t believe I would do what I did, and forwarded a personal email to my roommate, who promptly kicked me out with thirty minutes, threatening to call the cops had I not vacated in that time. Luckily my nanny mom came to my rescue, I got most of my stuff, and moved in with my nanny family until July.
During May, June and July, I was trying to iron out plans for the fall: I wanted to go to college to get my ECE diploma, but it seems God had other plans for me. That fell through, and I thought it would be good to spend a year working before going to college.
Then in August, I went to Uganda on a mission trip. This trip changed my life in two ways. 1: opened my eyes to God’s faithfulness to those who continue to trust Him, even though it a) takes a very long time and b) seems impossible. 2: I met the man of my dreams there, and have quickly made plans to move to uganda next fall. That was an easy decision to make anyway, because Africa has always been on my heart. Before I even thought about going to Japan, I’ve wanted to go to Africa. I felt God saying one day, after hearing about a mission trip my church had sponsered, that “yes, I would go to Africa” so in my heart, I just set it aside until it could become reality. (I’m hesitant to say “God said I would go”, for a few reasons, but at the very least, I felt confident in the impression that I would be going, but not yet, so just wait.)
When I returned, I stayed with one of the ladies who came with me to Uganda, and she freaked out that I wouldn’t leave her place, and it was awkward between us.
But then, in September, I was able to move in with a close friend, someone I admire and enjoy. We’ve been good friends since 2008, and rooming with her has been amazing. I’ve been challenged and encouraged in so many ways, even in the past four months we’ve been rooming together.
And now, an end and an new beginning. I wonder what the next year will bring.