While I can’t say its been a horrible year, because there have been some good things, I am ready to kick 2014 to the curb.
Grogan Gravesite. Copyright 2014 Grace Grogan
My father-in-law passed away at the age of 94 on February 11, 2014 and my father passed away at the age of 75 on December 3, 2014. While my father-in-law at the age of 94 should not come as a surprise, my father at only 75 was a shock. My sister and I had not yet completed going through my mother’s things (she passed in May 2013) and now have an entire house to contend with.
Although it has not been finalized, we found out that rather than letting us adopt our biological granddaughter she is going to be given to total strangers for adoption. Her younger sister, who we also wanted to adopt, was awarded to her foster care parents for adoption in 2013. The frustration dealing with DHS and realizing that this is an ongoing problem across the country is what inspired me to write a book about our situation.
Kiley Grogan’s photo posted on MARE.org
My ankle, which was severely injured in an accident 4-1/2 years ago, has continued to deteriorate. I was told in September 2013 that I have degenerative arthritis from the accident and will eventually need an ankle fusion. The condition has gotten considerably worse in the past year and I fear the operation will bee needed sooner rather than farther in the distance.
My husband, Ron, began having difficulty swallowing in June/July and by September was a true problem. It was discovered he had a tumor almost completely blocking his esophagus and the tumor was cancerous. He has undergone radiation and chemotherap and has lost about 60 lbs due to his inability to swallow more than thin liquids/broth. He will have surgery on the 6th of January to remove his esophagus and his stomach will be lifted/stretched up to take its place.
Walking from the boat dock to the lodge. Photo by Grace Grogan
In the midst of all this chaos we also had some good things. My sister, two of our cousins and I got together for a girls weekend, which we did on an uninhabited island and had a great time. We had traveled together while growing up and then had not spent much time together since becoming adults, so over 34 years. It was during the burial of my mother in 2013 that the four of us decided to revive our vacation get-togethers. Spending time with just the four of us on an uninhabited island for two nights was fun. We had a great time and are in the process of planning another outing this year.
A gathering for the purpose of a memorial service for my in-laws resulted in a min-reunion of my husband’s family. That lead to plans for another family gathering/reunion in August of this year. It was great that so many family members who reside in other states were able to make the memorial and plan to attend the reunion again this year.
My husband and I took our motor home out for 11 days, with the first stop being the memorial service for my in-laws, and the next stop being Iron Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. From there we took day trips to various counties across the UP with the main objective being to photograph waterfalls. We also took in a few other sights an spent two days visiting with our son who is located on the west side of the UP.
Bond Falls. Photo by Grace Grogan
My husband and I have continued to build our photography business an have had several good sales this year. We celebrated our good year by purchasing each of us new Nikon D750 Cameras for Christmas and are looking forward to a photography filled year. We also have a great new photo subject, our newest granchild, Alexandria, born on December 12th.
Alexandria’s first Christmas – only 12 days old on December 24th.
This was the year I took a more intense dive into my writing. I started working on a book about my husband’s and my battle with DHS trying to adopt our granddaughters. I continued in my position as newsletter editor of our local genealogy club’s newspaper, write a genealogy column for a local paper, plus took on the one-year position of being an opinion columnist for another local paper. I also began this blog, keeping it to a manageable one post per week, although I have on occasion thrown in an extra. I have found all these writing projects enjoyable. The more I write, the more I want to write.
So what are the plans for 2015? We all make resolutions every year and then falter and don’t accomplish them. I’m not making resolutions this year. I’m going to set goals and strategies to accomplish my New Years Goals — in my mind that has a more positive ring it than a resolution. I have not mapped out the specifics or broken it down into manageable segments yet, but the overall goals are going to be weight reduction, organization, cleaning and scheduling to get it all accomplished. Wish me luck, because I’m probably going to attempt the impossible, once again.