I have mulled this post over for months. I have written it in my head 20 times, at least. It is tough one to write. My goal is to not be too personal, yet at the same time provide a glimpse of our lives over the past year; to eke out some context. My other goal is to not be too bleak. It is dark material yet it is simply life. I think this past year will take a long time to process and so very little of it has to do with the bistro but so much of it has impact on the bistro. Complicated, non? Further complication: I need to write about things that are personal to people I love and I don't want to make them uncomfortable. *sigh* I am going to give this a quick go and then move on to what comes next.
It has been the year of deep, painful, life-changing tragedies in our lives. I think it began in the spring with one of our family members being diagnosed with cancer. They are fine now, essentially a clean bill of health, but the process of surgery and complications and treatment were very intense.
Someone in our chosen family had a baby at 28 weeks. That is a scary and long ride which has been really hard.
Two children in our extended family died this year.
My grandfather died. He lived on Dominion St. and was really funny and quirky. My sister and I had to spend two weeks sifting through his hoarder house and tending to his life possessions.
Our eldest child broke her foot and was on crutches for 5 weeks.
Our youngest child broke her arm in the most horrific version possible that has meant surgery, 3 casts, nerve damage, physiotherapy, and to this day, on-going appointments with doctors. We still cry sometimes over this one, she and I.
I have been wondering why I feel compelled to share all this deeply personal and dark information. Really picking it apart in my therapist brain. In the end, I really feel that these events have meant that I have shut myself down, preserved my mental and emotional energy for our personal lives. I am sure that I have still managed to be present at the bistro and I am still able to have fun at work yet there hasn't been space for anything beyond that. And so, I think I feel a need to talk about this year so that I can move beyond it. I want to shift out of this place of difficulty and look toward a dynamic and full year. There are many interesting projects coming up. The lawyers are negotiating the lease for the expansion. We have been invited to Ottawa to cook representing Manitoba. We're giving a talk at a business conference talk on using social media in business, we're doing Folk Fest nuttiness and we've got a new project cooking with Winnipeg Harvest that is going to a crazy fun ride.
So many of the clients at the Bistro are really important people to me and have provided me with friendship and laughter which has buoyed me throughout this year. Thank you all for that support and kindness.