Many thanks…

…to my friends, my family, and my coworkers, for helping through a particularly rough patch in my life.

I knew when I moved back to North Carolina that I was only a few years away from a time when I would need to start making difficult decisions about my parents. A few years ago, I assumed that when the first of them approached the end of his or her life, I would have support from a husband and from the surviving parent. Neither of these was to be; I’m no longer “coupled” and my mom is no longer in any condition to support me as I begin the process of letting nature take its course with my dad. This is not what I anticipated three years or even three weeks ago.

For the record, my dad had a fall last week that we now know was accompanied (and perhaps caused) by a heart attack. He had been very independent until this happened, and the suddenness of his decline still has me a little bit in shock. The next few days and weeks will be rough. After all the issues with my mom and everything else over the past two years, I’m already pretty exhausted and emotionally raw coming into this situation.

Don’t believe for a minute, though, that I feel like I’m in it alone. I’ve built a new support network by reconnecting with old friends who have been there for me more often than I’ve returned the favor, by relying on my extended family, and by realizing that I work with perhaps the most thoroughly decent group of people I could ever ask for.

This next chapter won’t be fun and it won’t be pretty but I’ll get through it. I will not, however, resort to using a cliché based on a Beatles song title to finish that sentence. I will also suggest that after the past two years of almost nonstop negatives, I think I’m about due for some exciting and happy news in my life. If anyone can provide that this would be a good time, thanks.