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>Happy one year ennui-versary to you, family! It is the end of a year of crappy situations and pretty tragic events, to which I alluded in my All Souls’ Day post.

We “joke” that my uncle kicked it off when he fell off his bike, suffering a severe head injury. For a few days there, we thought he wasn’t going to be living on his own, but the day after the priest game him the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, he made a complete recovery. It took a few months before the doctors cleared him for driving… driving! One day he was on the road to life in bed and the other he was asking to drive. Praise God!

My mom tore both of her hamstrings, suspending her tennis career until six months after the surgery… her amateur tennis league. Not tragic, but she was very torn up about it (weird, overly anatomical joke? Yup, thanks for playing).

Next: my two sisters got in two separate car accidents. My baby sister walked away unharmed, yet shaken after being T-boned. The mid-kid and the car she was in flipped completely over. Christine, the mid-kid, walked away from her accident too. Her souvenirs? A bruise on the top of her head where the car bounced on the ground and a back injury that still plagues her. God is good!

Two days after Christine’s accident, my grandfather (Emil Daddy) had a heart valve replaced. He went to Thanksgiving with us and had an extraordinary start of a recovery. Exactly two weeks after Emil Daddy’s surgery, we got a call: “It appears Emil Daddy had a small stroke.” My 77-year-old grandfather has been learning to talk, walk, and use his right arm again for the last twelve months. His mind is sharp as an ax, he just can’t communicate or get around as easily as the rest of us.

This alone has taught me to value every over-share, every long-winded story, and every seemingly superfluous sentence.

Two days after Emil Daddy’s stroke, my gramma (other side) lost her apartment in a fire. She came to live with us and fell in the middle of the night twice, breaking her arm once.

Emil Daddy’s best friend died suddenly while he was in the hospital. His sister, who lives in California, died while my grandfather was in a rehab facility. The stroke weakened Emil Daddy’s swallowing muscles, leaving him with a high risk of pneumonia. In April, he actually got so sick that he almost died in the hospital. Finally, after having surgery on her broken arm, my great aunt passed away suddenly two Sundays ago.

Each little life rock slide challenged my family and by the grace of God we learned to tie our happiness to Jesus Christ. All of us grew closer together as we grew closer to God.

Though Christine is in chronic pain (and the busiest human being on Earth), she always makes every effort to love people around her. Emil Daddy, who raised two daughters on his own, learned to let people take care of him. The rest of us are learning how to be patient and love others. We could be tempted to use this stress as an excuse to mistreat others, but we’re all working to do the opposite.

I suppose this makes this week an anti-ennui-versary.

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