Wherever we are at in life, it seems no matter how good our intentions are, we need a season like Christmas to help us to refocus, review, re-evaluate and reconnect. And so once again the annual review of the Albert and Liana Ziemer family assaults your inbox in an attempt to reconnect relationships and reminisce 2009.
January and February were spent shovelling enormous amounts of snow and shopping for our as yet unborn grandchild whose sex we did not know. We simply referred to the child as "Baby X". (Well, one of us shopped and one of us shovelled - we work well as a team.)
It's hard to believe that just one year ago the adorable bundle of love we now know as Xander was just a belly with a wooshing heartbeat. His arrival on March 3rd changed our lives. And change is good.
Albert has always been "Pa" to our children so it only made sense that he become "PaPa" to Xander. With numerous "Grandma Ziemers" in our family I decided I would be "Granny". Jed is proud of his role as Uncle and is very gentle and loving towards Xander, and Xander loves him. To see Xander's eyes light up with joy when he sees Uncle Jed is one of those little things that as a mother/grandmother I "treasure up in my heart" as Mary did when the shepherds came to bless her son Jesus. (Luke 2:19)
During the winter and spring I had undergone numerous tests, ultrasounds and MRIs on my ovaries and uterus which had fibrous tumours, 3 large cysts and, in April, developed lesions. With my history of breast cancer and my maternal grandmother's terminal battle with cancer at age 50, it was my gynecologist's "reasonable recommendation" that I have a full hysterectomy. As a person with poor circulation who is always freezing, the appeal of being subjected to hot flashes got me on board.
May was a devastating month for us when our daughter-in-law, Jade, got news within a two week period that both her sister Angela and her cousin SavoryAnne had commited suicide. Both of these beautiful young women had been in her wedding party just 10 months earlier. She amazed us with her strength and character as she dealt with these devasting blows just two and a half months after giving birth. We are proud of both Ken and Jade for the leading roles they play in the family.
In July it was an honour to attend a Cutting family reunion in Kamloops and be able to get a 5 generation picture with Xander, Ken, Liana, Jean and Harv. The picture even made the local paper.
July also saw our household increase when Jason came to live with us. He had previously worked on a casual basis with Jed and starting in October he began working as an official employee of Jed's Choices Society. We feel blessed to have him working with Jed as Jed responds well to him and he helps Jed in numerous social situations that We Care just couldn't provide for him.
I was originally informed I would be booked for surgery the first week in August so I went on sick leave from work July 31st - just in time to attend a fun camping/reunion weekend with the Ziemer family and friends at Vivian Lake. My surgery was delayed but I chose not to return to work for the time being.
In September we managed to get away for a little motorcycle trip to Kamloops amid our latest renovation project. Albert built an addition on the back of our house which is a garage for my car on the ground level and an amazing gi-normous deck on top. And I anticipate many a bbq during the summer months which I expect to see each and every one of you attend.
I didn't end up getting into surgery until October 29th. Surgery went smooth and recovery was relatively straightforward, aided I’m sure by the great support system I have. The pathology reports all came back clear, as did my one year mammogram results. So I have officially begun my 2nd year of living cancer free. Yay God!
After four and a half months off work, I was quite accustomed to retirement, but alas my first Christmas as Granny has dictated that I return to work, which I did on December 17th.
While we are excited for this first Christmas with Xander we are disappointed, yet understanding, that Brandi and Kore will not be joining us this year. They are doing well in Kamloops and in October Brandi started to work for the same company as Kore, which they plan to take over in the next year or two.
God is good and as we reminisce this past year we see His hand at work. We are thankful for His unfailing love and provision. We look forward to 2010 with anticipation, glad we don't know the future, and trusting in His strength to sustain us whatever comes our way.
May you cherish peace and goodwill, and be plenteous in mercy in 2010.
Love Albert & Liana