You know what my problem is?  I have good intentions but no follow through.  Clear Blue Water is important to me, but I have been having a difficult year and I’ve found it almost impossible to keep up with (especially the latter part of the year).  Every week I WANT to ink my cartoons and every week I manage not to find the time.  Then I feel weird about blogging when I have no new cartoons to share, so the blog stays stagnant as well…  I am sorry.  I have the most wonderful readers and I have not been a very gracious or interesting host.  I will try to do better come the new year.

I am usually a very private person, but I am going to break that a bit right now and share some of  the things that have gone on over the past year.  These are not excuses for my seeming laziness, per say, but they are an explanation of sorts.  I am still trying to sort through some of it in my head.  It was not a totally terrible year.  We have been blessed in so many ways, but it seems that just about everything that went on (and I mean both blessings and hardships) were life-changing events.  Not a lot of hangnails this year.  No, this was the year we did ‘er up BIG.  Can you say STRESS?

…Early in the year, a really good friend of our family died of cancer after a prolonged and courageous fight.  We were literally homeless for about a week back in the springtime.  We bought a house.  Our autistic son seems to have traded one set of problems for another (and I don’t know which set I prefer)!  I began working outside the home again for the first time in over a decade.  I suffered a personal loss.   Our ancient dog died.  And, to top off the year, I was  cold-cocked by the abrupt ending of a close friendship that I assumed would last throughout my entire life.   It’s this last thing that I’ve struggled with the most over the past few months, so it’s this last thing that I’ve chosen  to focus on today.

The friendship dissolved due to lies, misunderstandings, and unexpected viciousness, and I was devastated.  Not only was a huge part of my life just gone, but (because it ended so badly and so abruptly), I then started second-guessing our entire relationship.  I was allowing all of my memories of her to be ruined as well.

As I mourned this person (and it really feels as if she has died), God hit me with a truth that I had a hard time processing.  Our relationship had been going sour for over a year.  I had known this, I had even talked about this very thing with other friends and family members, but I had assumed that if I hung in there past the rough patch, it would eventually go back to being good again.  But the truth was, we had simply moved in two different directions and we no longer had much in common anymore.  The closeness we’d once shared was mostly gone, replaced by distance, disinterest and unease.  It seemed that she suddenly disapproved of just about everything about me, and I thought she was becoming rather insufferable.  I had been clinging to a friendship that had moved well past it’s expiration date.  Simply put, we were no longer good for each other.  The time had come.

This has been a hard thing to process.  I always thought we’d be like the Golden Girls someday (as long as I got to be Dorothy!). but, alas, that is not to be.  In some ways it’s a relief that it’s over.  Watching a once rock-solid friendship flounder and flail about was SAD.  Now we can both move on.   God brings people into our lives for a reason.  Sometimes for life and sometimes for a season.  It turns out that this friendship was just for a season, but that’s OK.  I have my memories, and now that I can allow myself to enjoy them, they bring great comfort.

Life is too short to live your life filled with anger and bitterness (even if you are justified), so I’ve made a conscious decision to let it go.  I have forgiven this person and I feel no ill will towards her anymore.  …She was a very good friend, and I wish her and her family nothing but the best.

However…  This breakup was by no means all her fault, so here is my public apology for my part in this debacle (this might or might not get back to her–I can’t be bothered to check sitemeter so I don’t know if she still checks in here or not.  So… whatever.  This really is more for me and my mental health, anyway).

Please forgive me.  I was wrong.

There!  I feel soo much better now!  Lighter and more at peace.

…Make no mistake though, I did not apologize  to try and win my friend back.  No, too much has been said (on both sides) for that.  So, why am I writing about this?  What am I hoping to gain?

I just want  to acknowledge that this chapter of my life (though important)  is over with and move on.  I guess I just want some closure, dammit!  (I did it!  I used the dreaded “c” word!  Gasp!)   We are about to celebrate Christ’s birth.  We are coming to the end of the year.  The end of the decade.  It seems a good time for some fresh perspective to blow through and clear out all the deadwood.

I’m looking forward (with some trepidation, I admit), to seeing what 2010 brings.  After all, 2009’s been QUITE a doozy!