I remember the moment the year turned into 2009. I was snuggled up in bed having crashed at about an hour before midnight. Morning sickness and first trimester exhaustion were a serious party killer. I woke at the moment of the new year as the first of 108 bell rings at the local temple was tolled. I rolled over and wish DH a happy new year and then we both went back to sleep.
And so the year began, with our little family of two living in Japan and announcing that we were soon to become a family of three.
By March, I was celebrating my birthday during a final trip to Tokyo to see Cirque Du Soleil, finishing my teaching job, saying tearful goodbyes to dear friends and students, leaving my home in Japan and reconnecting with other dear friends and moving into my new home in Australia.
April found me meeting new friends, a number whom I already "knew" from blogging as I joined the Brisbane chapter of Brown Owls and finding out we were having a little girl.
In May, I started getting domestic (early nesting anyone?) with crocheting for the baby-to-come, failed attempts at cooking and going into excited baby clothes washing sessions.
By June, it was all about the unpacking as our boxes arrived from Japan.
In the first half of July, I was impatiently waiting for our little one to arrive, and then by the end of the month I was enjoying all the mummy cuddles I could fit in.
August and September are a bit of a blur as I was finding my feet in my new role as mummy and also returning to work, madly preparing for market life.
October, in Blogtoberfest, I found new motivation to write a post a day. I was inspired.
That then brings us to November when on the day we were supposed to attend an old friend's wedding, I took DH up to the emergency department at the hospital, frustrated that despite having been sick for weeks, having lost 15 kg in two weeks and being no longer able to even keep down water, his GP continued to drag his feet. DH was in surgery by the afternoon and we had the cancer diagnosis a few days later. Chemo treatments started very soon after that.
The remainder of the year I have found myself challenged, juggling life with the little one, daily trips to the hospital and trying to earn the family's income. Things have fallen by the wayside for the while, my blog has been neglected, emails unanswered and Christmas cards unsent. I haven't been as present in the lives of my friends as I'd like. There are good days and bad, but I'm happy to say, while totally exhausting, most have been good.
In between all that I have met some wonderful people, been inspired by so many more and watched the little one grow into an even more amazing creature every day.
But mostly, and mostly importantly, for me, for us, 2009 has been about how lucky we are to be surrounded by so much love, generosity and kindness.
Once again, it is New Year's Eve, and once again, I find myself going off to bed before the stroke of twelve. The little one is sound asleep in her cot in our room and DH is also home from the hospital for a while, tonight connected to a pump that will fill his veins with chemo as he slumbers. There won't be temple bells ringing to wake us tonight, but I'm sure there will be cheers from neighbours so that I can roll over to kiss my husband for the first time in the new year.
So now, a new year and one that I wish for everyone to be filled with love, laughter, health, happiness, peace and prosperity.