Another year has flown by; although, it feels like multiple years. This is partly due to the major changes that have occurred and partly to the accompanying fatigue. But don't be dismayed, God has been so gracious to us. We are amazed by His provision and cannot speak of this past year without mentioning our gratitude to God.
Facebook has provided many of you with our story. Last year Marnie came to the house to help me with Mom's care. Marnie stayed into March and I couldn't have made it without her. At the end of February Mom had a TIA (all the symptoms leading up to but not a stroke). Mom was hospitalized for a week during which time we all continued to work full or part-time, taking turns at the hospital while tackling the daunting task of finding a new home for her. We are so grateful God's answer was Jones Harrison Residence in St. Louis Park.
I had known Mom was hungry for people, so moving her into a facility with hundreds of residents was a good thing. She was in shock from the hospitalization, yet adjusted to her new home as if she had always lived there. Her big confusion was that I no longer lived with her. She would often say “I'll go where you're going.” Lately she told me that she decided to stay. When I asked her what she meant she said she had wanted to go home for a little while but there were too many people here, so she would stay.
While the time invested in Mom's care reduced, it was a very busy spring. I cleared out the house and moved into an apartment then moved to another apartment due to circumstances beyond my control. I had a business come and empty out everything I didn't take with me then put the house on the market. The offer I accepted was submitted in the first 12 hours. How amazing is that? I have been so blessed to not have the responsibility of the house or the 20-minute commute to visit Mom. Because I am less than a mile from her, I get to see her almost every day. And my new apartment is spacious enough for my family to visit and comfortably move around. It was my way to meet the standard of the Mehlhaff Bed-and-Breakfast my father ran. I'm not quite there, but I'm close.
Leaving my job at the end of July was of relief; however, not getting my new website up until December has made the fall more challenging. Yet visits from my sisters have invigorated me and I am ready to get moving on what God has for me next.
Mom always included a part about the extended family, and I couldn't have made it through this year without them. My sister Marla has been dealing with health issues, while managing Mom’s financial matters and major decisions. She also found time to work on her book, Praise PhD, and do standup comedy. Her husband is doing well but misses her as her job requires constant travel. Her eldest daughter Cassidy is completing college this year, while her youngest daughter Laura is dual enrolled in high school (a junior) and community college, and working at her first job.
Sister Marnie and her husband Dave sold their home and their retail store this past spring. In one day Marnie closed up her house of over 30 years, drove to Minneapolis and helped me close up our childhood home. A day later she headed off to her new home in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she lives next door to sister, Vicki, and 20 minutes from daughter, Keren, and family. Keren has brought us all to a new place in life: Mom is now a great grandmother, Marnie and Dave are grandparents, and I am a great aunt to Julianna, born August 16! We love every picture that is shared via Facebook or in texts. Marnie’s sons are doing well. Her oldest, Mark, is living in Austin, Texas where he gets to spend time with his great aunt, Renée. Marnie’s youngest, Tim, has moved back to Minnesota, albeit Bemidji, so I don't get to see him much.
While sister Vicki and her husband Dave have settled down in their home in St. Petersburg for several years now, they are still exceedingly busy and hard to keep track of. Dave's business is doing so well Vicki was able to transition to working with him full time. Their eldest son, Gunnar, has moved around a bit and is doing well. Their son Max is completing college with a degree in engineering. Sons, Trey and Chris, keep their home busy and motivate such activities as building a skate ramp in their backyard and holding weekly boys’ night. They also have regular house guests, some visiting, some living with them.
We pray that you and yours are prospering in the love of God, and thank you for being a part of our lives. We are richer for it.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!