Normally, I try to stick to farm related content on here, but perhaps today I will branch out a bit. 2016 has been a rough year for me and my family. As it comes to a close, I have told a few folks how much I cannot wait for 2016 to be over and to start over fresh in 2017. For the first time in a long time I was struggling to find good among the bad. I have been rolling over in my mind everything 2016 has taken from me. It started out by taking our first calf, Snow Day (read about it here). Then it took away the promise of a future for my cousin’s son when he was diagnosed with a form of Batten Disease, that will likely end his life before the age of 18. It took my other cousin’s life when he overdosed on drugs after he promised me he didn’t “do any of that stuff”. It took a LOT more money than we thought it would because surprise expenses kept cropping up. It took my uncle to ICU at Ohio State for 13 days because of complications from a lifelong struggle with addiction after my mother has spent months trying to help him get his life back together. It took one of my dear friend’s first calves that we tried so hard to save. It took the promise of a future for my cousin’s daughter when she too was diagnosed with Batten Disease.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that 2016 had taken so much more than that. 2016 took a lot of love. It took me on a LOT of adventures! I traveled to Kansas City for the National Young Farmers and Ranchers conference. I drove from Seattle to Ohio with one of my very best, dearest friends to help her move home. I saw some really cool veterinary procedures and spent some time with some amazing folks.It took enjoying the GORGEOUS weddings of my closest friends! It took plenty of learning as I learned more about farming and life and I started into a Master’s Degree program. It took a lot of laughs.We are so blessed to have friends that keep us rolling with laughter every time we are with them. It took faith that God has a great plan for us. It took hard work balanced with fun. It took a lot of time talking to God. It took the whole summer of preparing CSA baskets to finish our first successful year of having a CSA! It took lots of walks and runs that eventually led me to run my first 5K to help raise money for Batten Disease Research! It took the support of my amazing husband to get me through the bad days and smile with me on the good ones.
You see, 2016 took a lot of things from me, some of them were things I loved that I won’t ever get back. Others were things I gave willingly because they led to something so beautiful. I have been so blessed to have this year of my life! I think that, as is often the case country music says it best in Darryl Worley’s song “Awful Beautiful Life” When he sings, “I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful, beautiful life”!