Monday, January 7, 2013

How I Used 2012's Word and New Word For 2013!

(Picture loading is not working, but this is long enough already)

Several weeks ago, I began attempting to come up with a word for the coming year; something that would represent me and my goals, something that would motivate me, inspire me, keep me going on rough days and remind me to remain grounded. While I came up with many contenders, nothing really "spoke" to me. Nothing really said "this is you in 2013!" So, the search went on.

I began reflecting upon 2012's word, BELIEVE. That was an easy one. I was starting many new phases of growth and development in my life and needed a lot of self-confidence and reassurance. Boy, did I ever underestimate the importance of that one simple word! Little did I know how much I would draw upon it; how much of my heart and soul I would place into the confidence of it; how much I would really NEED to BELIEVE!

January was fairly normal - some after Christmas thrifting, Jim's Giants won the Super Bowl, I was posting about regular life with the grand babies, furniture, daily smiles, the usual. Towards the end of February, everything changed. You can read the full story HERE. Basically, my wonderful husband, Jim, suddenly became very ill, required surgery to amputate one of his toes and a portion of his foot and our entire life changed from that point! I had to believe that Jim would make it through surgery and recover well. I had to believe that his health would not be adversely affected by this surgery and that psychologically, he would deal with the amputation positively. I had to believe that the long months of recovery and all that it entailed; the incredibly busy schedule filled with visiting nurses, dozens upon dozens of doctor appointments, visits to the wound center, follow-up x-rays, MRI's and other tests, would be handled well by both of us. I had to believe in myself and my ability to manage Jim's diet, medications and home care of his wound, as well as keeping him upbeat on days when he struggled. I had to believe that this would be the only surgery he would require and that he would be able to drive again and return to work and "normal" life.

In July, my word was given the ultimate test, as, once again, infection had settled into Jim's right foot and another toe had to be removed. While this surgery was not to be as severe as the previous one, and the recovery period was promised to be much shorter, our hopes were dashed and we started all over. Again, I believed, and everything seemed to be going well with his recovery. However, now other hurdles arose. When Jim was placed on long-term disability through his employer, his salary was cut to 60%. I had to believe that our increased expenses including appointment and medication co-payments would not exceed our decreased income. I had to believe that, when they did, we would still be able to pull things together. I had to believe in myself, in my ability to earn some type of income through Internet and local sales which allowed me the freedom to provide Jim with transportation and care. I had to believe that we could cut back on some things, on ANYthing that would make even a minute difference. I had to believe in my prayers, in my faith, that we would be brought through this whole and that I was worthy to make these frequent requests for assistance.

About a month after Jim's second surgery, the tests continued. We were elated the day that the stitches were removed and thought that finally, the road to recovery was within our grasp! Unfortunately, two days later, we noticed that Jim's foot was draining. Why would a healed foot drain? It wouldn't. There was a pocket underneath the bottom of his foot, that was hollow back to the bone - the perfect environment for infection to settle in, which it has. As of now, it is limited to tissue, and he's been on antibiotics to prevent infection of the bone. For the third time, our routine of home nurses, doctor appointments and wound care began. By now, we were so frustrated, so disappointed and just short of breaking. My heart broke for Jim and all he was going through. Depression set in and I had to believe that I could rise above it and keep him going through humor, love and comfort. I no longer prayed - I literally begged! I had to believe that my hidden tears would mean something, that my late-night conversations with God were being listened to. I HAD to believe! There was nothing else I could do.

We continue on this path as healing is slow. We do not know what the future will bring, so I hang on to my 2012 word like the valuable possession and resource that it is. I've added my 2013 word to it, as its partner. My new word is: Undaunted. Definition: Courageously resolute, especially in the face of danger or difficulty; not discouraged. Synonyms include bold, fearless, gallant, gutsy, intrepid, brave, determined, resolute, plucky, undeterred, spunky, impetuous and unafraid. So first, I have to believe that I can be all of these things, then I have to remain undaunted, no matter what. I have to push us both daily, trust that Jim will be whole again and never say never. No looking back, only forward. Once I chose this new word for this new year, the lyrics to "To Dream The Impossible Dream" came to mind. They have several times since.

"To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

This is my quest, to follow that star ...
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...
To fight for the right, without question or pause ...
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ...

And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm,
when I'm laid to my rest ...
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach ... the unreachable star"

So there's my new word and why I chose it. I apologize if this was too heavy for some and too long for others. I felt that how I used my 2012 word and the connection of the two words were important to explain and I really did try to keep it as short and sweet as possible. Thank you so much for baring with me. The bright side, and I always look for one - I am still smiling, I am still thankful, Jim and I are still an extremely strong team and I undauntedly believe that we will get through this!
Hugs, Leena

Linking to: Silver Pennies:Word Of The Year Linky Party


  1. It was not too heavy or hard for me to read! What an awful year you had...your world and Jim's world was turned upside down. The hopes and dreams you shared for the year took a back seat to taking care of unexpected health and money issues. My heart aches for you. I know you are a strong woman but I also know this sort of thing takes it toll. God bless you-i these upcoming days and weeks and months. I KNOW you can do this. I BELIEVE you can do this and I will pray right along with you. God bless- xo Diana

    1. Thank you so much dear Diana! You are such a blessing and an awesome woman! I know that prayers from you and your kind friendship will make such a positive difference! You're really such a gift and I'm so happy to have you here! Take care! Hugs, Leena

  2. You are another of God's unexpected blessings-I REALLY needed to hear your story and see how strong you and your husband have had to remain. I'll pray that you both continue to fight the fight-your an inspiration to me and I know why God had Diana send me here-I will believe and I also will be undaunted.
    Thank you and God bless you on this difficult journey.

    1. Ellie, I am so happy that you read my post and that you found some inspiration from it. That would be the best thing to come of this, that others might find hope in their days and know that their troubles are not as dominant as they think, that they can remain strong and faithful! I am glad that Diana sent you over. She is a dear and I'm always happy to meet a new person! Take care and thank you again! Hugs, Leena

  3. Leena, you and your husband have been through so much this year. I hope and believe this year will be a year of healing and return to normalcy. I love both your words and am so happy you linked them up to my link party. also really love the lyrics. Such a beautiful song.

  4. Thank you so much Danielle! I love the idea of having a word of the year and, as you can see, it took a lot of thought! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment! I really appreciate your kind words and yes, we do hope that we are on our way to better days! Take care. Hugs, Leena


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