2013 has been an interesting year for me. I don't know what it was about this year, but I lost a lot of friends. I also gained new ones and re-discovered a few old ones.
I lost several friends to illness; like my dear friend, Jaime, who passed away of liver problems. She went to the US with her family from Vietnam in 1975 as a baby. She was one of my crazy friends; most of her friends were Vietnamese gangsters and that made for some "interesting" situations. I felt (feel) guilty because I didn't call her and hadn't seen her in many years.
Other friends, like The Romanian, I lost to "friendship complications" (and I'll leave it at that). She was a long-term BFF of 16 years, so it was very traumatic for me.
Then, there was the love loss of Mr. Clean/Dirty. I had a really hard time recovering from him and I've had to stop waiting for the apology that will never come. (He's told his family how bad he feels, but he's never said it to me directly.)
Business was a mixed batch this year too. Although we won a little business, we lost a lot. I felt a lot of responsibility towards quite a few of our employees on a contract we had held for many years. I obsessed over minute details of the re-bid proposal, which we were destined to lose to a cheaper bidder. When we did and people lost their jobs, it hit me hard and I don't think I realized how much stress I'd been under until I got here to the States and took several steps back. People have been gracious and kind about it even through their hardships, "Don't worry. Everything is in God's hands..." I tried my best, honestly.
On the positive side, I have learned who true friends are who were in the background for years and I never worked on being closer with. Now that I have, I regret not knowing sooner how fiercely loyal they are and how they were there all the time for me. All I had to do was to reach out - and there they were.
I've gained a family this year. While things didn't work out with Clean, I gained his family. I'm considered one of them and his dad has taken me under his wing. He is my surrogate dad and I'm so happy about it that it is difficult to describe in words. They've become a support system that I didn't know how badly I was missing.
I've also gained a new family member, Mike. Mike is a German Shepard puppy that one of my friends bought to breed. Dude was keeping 1-month-old Mike in a cage, outside, with no blanket or warmth when I volunteered to take him home and train him. That was over a month ago. Mikey has settled in permanent now. Desert Dawg isn't too happy with him, but it might do her good to have a little competition in the house as she has been getting cranky and mean lately. Several of my friends have remarked that Mike may have come along at the right time since DD is now pushing her 17th year and may not have longer to go. I don't want to think about that. I've always wanted a German Shepard and I was planning to get one when the time was right. This little guy just kind of fell into my lap. He's smart and he'll make a great companion in my old age.
I would like to say thank you to all you readers (there are like 2 now!) who have taken the time to write nice things to me this past year. Little kindnesses go a long way and you may not know the value of a few small words, but they have meant a tremendous amount to me. I do not take the kindness of strangers lightly; you never know when God is sending you angels - which is exactly how I feel about all of you. Kind words are invaluable and there is real power in gratitude, so thank you all so much for your continued virtual friendships; sometimes throughout the years.
And on that note: If there is anything I can do to help you (or information I can provide that might help you here on the blog) for 2014, please let me know. I will do my best to try to assist.
May you all have a happy, healthy, prosperous, and love-filled 2014. God bless you all and keep you safe.