The year 2005 has been quite a topsy turvey one in all aspects of my life. I am grateful for the changes, challenges, wins, defeats and most of all, for the many wonderful people I have encountered throughout the year.
It all started about the same as any other year. Except for my youngest daughter, Jaime, calling to tell me that she was pregnant on the day after New Year's. That was quite a shocker because she was (and still is) single and very, very young to be a mom. At the time she was 18.
A few weeks later Maxx was finally able to find full-time employment after being laid off for nearly three years from a major oil company. After he was laid off we left Houston for the Hill Country of Texas where we tried to make a living. During the time we were there we survived a 500-year flood (FEMA didn't do much of anything then, either, except follow the TV cameras around). For him to finally be working again was a tremendous relief for both of us.
In February it was a year since Jeremy's death. We had turned the wheel and come full circle through one of the toughest years I can remember in my life. In a few weeks it will be two years. I can't say it's getting any easier because I miss him more and more each passing day, but I will say that I'm learning to live with the knowledge that I'll never see him again in this lifetime.
Love for another human being does not stop when they die. It continues for as long as there are people on this earth who remember those who have passed to the summerland before us.
Early on in the year I stumbled across Gold Star Families for Peace and started corresponding with several members. I cannot express what a relief it was to finally find people who felt the way about the war that I did at that time. Honestly, there were times when I did feel that I was being unpatriotic and selfish because I didn't agree with the war and hated George Bush. I don't feel that way anymore.
In April Maxx and I were blessed by the arrival of our second granddaughter, Logan Marie. She is a beautiful little blonde haired, hazel eyed Gerber baby. Logan is one of the happiest little ones I've ever had the pleasure of being around.
June came around and I had a breakdown of sorts. I got tired of reading the bumper sticker on the local bubba's trucks that said "Freedom Ain't Free", so I sat down and vented via my keyboard and computer. I sent my essay to Cindy Sheehan and she forwarded it on to several venues where she was being published on a regular basis. That was the start of my writing. Before then I had become involved quietly and behind the scenes with writing letters to politicians, local groups, Senators, Congressmen/women, television, radio and newspapers.
The month of August, it seems, was a vortex of craziness for me. I started a new job and Jaime's baby was due. I was planning to go to the Veteran's for Peace convention in Dallas, Texas and to meet Cindy Sheehan for the first time. A few days before leaving, Cindy called me and said she wanted to go to Crawford to protest George Bush because he said our sons and American's sons and daughters were dying for a noble cause in Iraq. So, I drove to Dallas on a Friday morning, met Cindy (she was in her pajamas finishing breakfast in the cafeteria), attended a few sessions of the convention and got to meet a lot of really neat people. That night Cindy, Dede, Margaret, Sherry and myself went out to dinner.
The next morning, Saturday, August 6, 2005 is a day that will go down in the history books. I boarded the White Rose with Cindy and the Vets and we led a caravan of cars from Dallas to Crawford. The rest, they say, is history!
I stayed in Crawford that first night, but had to go home Sunday afternoon. I went back the next weekend and was shocked/surprised at the chagnes that had taken place in the few days I had been gone. It was stunning! I was moved to tears. All week long I had been watching the news reports, but they just didn't do what was going on there justice at all.
On August 18 my grandson, Aiden Russell, came into the world. I was in the delivery room with Aiden's Mama. It was a real joy to see my first grandson come into the world. He is a good baby and I adore him with all my heart!
Since August I have gone completely public with my activism, though some interesting things have also happened. I come from a very disconnected family and so does my husband. I know both of our families have seen my face on TV and have read the interviews I've given to newspapers. I know they've seen my picture in newspapers (one very prominently used across the country from the Cheney/DeLay fundraiser and protest). Yet, not one of our parents have said one thing or asked one question about it.
I have written alot, done alot, learned alot and met a lot of very fine people. This year I have been so very blessed in my life. Sometimes I sit in wonder and awe and am so grateful for my good fortune in meeting so many good, likeminded people. I look forward to 2006 and all that it may have to offer, the new experiences and the people. I find myself hopeful that there will be some resolution of the war in Iraq and this corrupt, shameful, criminal administration that is running our country right now.
As Jeremy used to say: "It's All Good!"