It wasn't all bad, but the last few months of it overshadowed the rest.
Only a few know of the tragedy that hit our family just before the Husband came home from his deployment, but so the rest of you don't think I'm Debbie Downer all of the time, I thought it was time to share.
My MIL became a widow. She was in the process of becoming a divorcee (with our blessing) when her husband shot and killed himself.
Suicide is a nasty business, and I've always felt that it's truly sad when someone feels so lost that they see no other options but to end their life, but this wasn't just any suicide. It was retaliation.
He timed it in a way to hurt her the most. He had given the titles and keys to 40+ vehicles (he restored cars) away. He had run up quite a bit of debt in the 6 weeks she was away at her sister's; stopped making car payments, the mortgage and paying utilities. Without those cars, she would have no way to gather the money she needed to pay the debts.
That sick man knew all of this while he sat at her kitchen table-as she cooked his breakfast-with a gun in his pocket.
We can't know why he didn't shoot her first (there was a discarded fax she found afterwards with details he would need to collect insurance after her death). Maybe she's alive because she ran screaming from the house the minute he lifted the gun. Maybe it was because she had brought a friend along when she came back to the house that morning and he didn't want to leave three bodies in the house. Maybe because he decided that leaving her behind would punish her far more than killing her.
My MIL doesn't get to be a grieving widow because instead, she has to be a battling warrior against a nasty family that climbed out of their holes to blame her for his death. They're the ones holding the titles and his belongings, shouldn't THEY have seen his sudden generousity as an obvious sign of suicide?
These nasty people have held fundraisers (for what? My MIL paid all of the death-related expenses) and shown up in large groups with car trailers to remove the cars that now sit in probate. After being turned away by a sheriff, they have spread the word that it would be less complicated if my MIL who is alone, could be "removed" from the scenario.
We are thousands of miles away...
We will now have to take care of my MIL decades sooner than we expected, but I'm wholeheartedly ok with that because I'm so glad we still have her around to take care of.
So yes, 2011 won't be the year that I look back on with fondness, but it gives me great hope for 2012- no where to go but up, right?
My goals for this year are:
*Do something creative every day. I considered the 365 Photo challenge, but think any creative project is less confining.
*I'm also going to be nice to me and quit putting myself last.
*I am going to travel this beautiful country like a mad woman. Only 18 months left and they'll make me leave the UK. Feel free to offer up suggestions of where you would visit if you were here.
Happy New Year everyone! What are you going to do to make 2012 different from the rest?