As years are wont to do, this one is at last beginning to wind down. This has not been one of my best.
It started January 4, with the sudden death of my younger sister. I’ve been very sad to discover I have no recent pics of her, and none of us together. It had been many years since we’d seen each other so there had been no opportunity. We live on opposite coasts. I still have days when it feels unreal, like when I see a gift that she sent me, and realize she’s just not there anymore. It’s very strange.
In June I was laid off from my job. It was a good job, close to home, decent pay, but I’d been half expecting it since we started working from home in March, 2020. This is the fourth time I’ve been laid off over the last 20 years. I’m so tired of Corporate America. I am still looking for work with not much hope of landing another job due to ageism. Why do they keep raising the retirement age when no one will hire older people?
In August I had to euthanize my most beloved cat, Lizzie. Lizzie was a stray who I coaxed out of the neighbor’s backyard and into my life almost 6 years ago now. I kept hearing him crying from somewhere in the next-door neighbor’s backyard, and finally after weeks of calling to him managed to get him up to my yard to feed him. I estimated he was somewhere between nine months and one-year-old at the time. He was starving and ate three 9oz cans of food in one sitting, so it’s unlikely he belonged to the house next door. In fact I once saw the guy the neighbor ostensibly employs (I assume he’s paying him, but the guy practically lives there) to help in his yard throwing stuff at Lizzie to drive him out of the yard. Lizzie had been neutered, and I didn’t really check too hard, and assumed he was a female, hence the name. I only found out he was a boy back in March when the vet treated him for FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease). I never bothered to change his name, because what did he care? He was used to “Lizzie.” He didn’t care what I called him as long as I didn’t call him late for dinner, although it required constant explanations every time I had to take him to the vet. He had another episode of FLUTD on August 24, while going blind from uveitis and glaucoma (so many eyedrops, around the clock for a month with no effect. Goddess love him he was so good about it). The vet suggested euthanasia, it was a shock to me. I knew he wasn’t adjusting well to losing his sight, on top of the recurrent infections. He was just so young. I thought we would grow old together. There is a hole in my world. I am still mourning him.
The summer was brutally hot here, as it was in many places. My air conditioner got us through the worst of it when it hit 116ºF, and then took a powder. It was about 25 years old and had been having some problems right before the heat hit, but after that weekend it would only come on for one cycle in 24 hours. So… along with the furnace that had been problematic for many years, I replaced both. But not until September. Apparently there were no units to be had, I guess thanks to COVID and shipping issues. We still had a lot of heat to get through, so in July in desperation I bought two of those portable units, an expense I really didn’t need but would have died without. So yeah, in addition to being out of work, I had to cough up almost $10K for new heating and cooling. Thankfully I had the money, but you can only spend it once.
And now my son and his family, who have been living with me for about 12 years, suddenly announced they bought a house and will move out within 2 weeks. It was only in the last couple years they even paid any rent, but I could really use it right now. Also they’re planning to take the two cats we have. Both were refugees from the crack house a few doors down. One ran away from them, and although the people knew he was living here they never tried to come get him. The other one was abandoned when they were evicted. Just moved out and left her behind. Well, there are lots of cats in the world that need homes. I’m so used to just taking in strays, maybe I’ll wait for another one to show up.
Anyway, it’s been a helluva year. Here’s hoping the universe will cut me some slack in the coming year.