The End is Here!

January 1, 2013

I am quite sure I cannot keep your attention long enough to give you every last detail of my life of late. I looked into what it would take to create and post a PowerPoint presentation – something your brain could just kind of gloss through without fully absorbing any true data – but every time I download QuickTime to my laptop, it crashes all my Microsoft products.

Why, pray tell, would I need QuickTime? Well, to insert a radiation video! (Yes, I videotaped two (or three?) of my radiation sessions.)

So instead (and considering we have crossed the threshold into 2013) I will preview 2013 for you all.

January 2013: A yet-to-be-revealed friend finds out about my difficulties with Harris County Flood Control District (hint hint if you can help) and intervenes on my behalf, clearing the way for the electric and plumbing permits and thus, the completion, of my house.

The brain MRI conducted on January 8th reveals no brain tumors, lesions, or other trespassers. My oncologist orders MRIs for every three months through 2013 and begins to taper down my meds.

We complete an 11th hour move from my lovely, but tiny, apartment into my lovely, but tiny, house. The good news? No more rent!

February 2013:  Larry, the boys and I stumble among boxes before finally building a storage shed for all the crap I can’t part with but can live without. Gabe receives word that the college of his choice has offered a full scholarship. He accepts – of course! We begin construction on the addition to the house using funds raised at a fundraiser initiated by the folks that donated the house in the first place.

March 2013: After riding the Metro for a month, Jack decides it’s in his best interest and finishes driver’s ed. My mother buys at auction the 1/2 acre lot next to mine for $600 in back taxes. And I thought $18k for mine was a good deal. Gabe and Anna Rose turn 18.

April 2013: Results of second quarter brain MRI still perfect! Mom, Max, Larry and Jackson all celebrate another year of goofing around on Earth.

May 2013: Gabe (and Anna Rose, and Max, and Allen…) graduate from high school and Larry receives his Associates degree. Based on recommendations from his professors, Larry lands the perfect summer job as a camp counselor. Despite the fact it is now officially hot, the addition is complete and we have a massive Graduation / Thank You / Housewarming Party for everyone that pitched in at any point along the long road. Buck and Brett even make an appearance!

June 2013: Jackson attends the Rice Summer Business Institute and discovers his passion for finance. While in college, he develops an algorithm that infallibly predicts the peaks of individual stocks, drops out of college and makes a killing in the market. After traveling the world and breaking the hearts of countless young women, he returns home to finance his brother’s vision of skyscrapers with massive turbines embedded in their design that power the entire building – and then some. I enjoy my “I told you so” moment when they realize they are best friends.

July 2013: It’s really stinking hot and I’m uber grumpy. But my third quarter brain MRI looks just fine and dandy. I finally finish knitting a scarf I started a year and a half ago and give it to Gabe for college.

August 2013: As promised, Larry and I head (Larry a couple of days ahead on his new-to-him (i.e. used) Harley, me via American Airlines) to the 73rd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. From there, I head straight to meet Gabe and his U-Haul roof rack to help get him settled in for his first year of college, making the obligatory Target trip for all that stuff you just don’t hand down (i.e. toilet brushes and plungers). I cry. Gabe smiles, wipes my tears with his thumb and, most genuinely, reassures me he will be fine. I will remember his stoic face, buzz cut hair and Cubs t-shirt on his first day of Kindergarten and his similar reassurances. Then I will remember that, years later, he told me he was terrified out of his mind and just didn’t want me to know. I will wonder how he knew at such a young age how fragile a mother can be.

September 2013: As if right on cue, my children’s book, Like So Many Others, is finally published. With a full-time job and the fact that it’s a children’s book, a book tour is not considered. I do however accept “local” (i.e. within a few hours driving time) invitations for readings. My publicist (you know who you are!) works the human interest side of my story and lands a profile in the New York Times Book Review sparking massive sales (and facilitates her move to some big-time clients). Again however, being a children’s book, this produces exactly zero profit in my pocket. Fortunately, making money was not my goal. Knowing that the message of the story was reaching millions of families was all I ever wanted. In the meantime, Larry has started his relentless pursuit of his bachelors degree at U of H and Teresa and Nika chalk up another year.

October 2013: A welcome, quiet month and another clear brain MRI. Doc puts me on an every six months schedule. I will miss making him laugh with such frequency.

November 2013: Larry, Jack and I host Thanksgiving in the new house this year. Because the ill-fated relationship between the Pilgrims and Native Americans is irretrievably linked to Thanksgiving in the mind of my Larry, we are careful to keep our observance ‘hippie-style’ and have included pizza on the menu. Gabe and Anna Rose are happy to be home for a short but sweet visit.

December 2013: As I look back at the past two years, I am humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity of not only family and friends, but people I never knew and would never know. I am mystified because, in sum, I am such a shitty day-to-day friend. But it is quite apparent to me now that I am not the only one that enjoys doing anonymous good deeds. Looking forward to more good tamales as the clock strikes midnight at Shakespeare’s Pub!

magic wand

Thank you all for everything.

Keep using your magic for good.


6 Responses to “The End is Here!”

  1. Elaine said

    Keep smiling!!

  2. Rosa said

    you made me cry ridiculously hard with a big smile on my face! i love you ~ ur mudder

  3. Karey Rawitscher said

    Great post Tina! One of the best holiday letters I’ve ever seen.

  4. Hurray for 2013! Love you so much!
    Tia X

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