While Beth’s medical challenges over the past 4 months have been pretty much all-consuming, we look back over 2013 remembering the many good times we have experienced as well.
We started the year preparing for the arrival of our first grandchild. The excitement mounted as we redid one of our spare rooms over into a baby room and shopped to furnish it. Then Lindsay arrived on March 2nd and everyone rushed to the hospital to welcome her. Lindsay has been a great joy in the life of our family. David and Rachel are awesome parents and Lindsay has been such a happy little girl at every stage of her development over the past 10 months.
When they’re not busy parenting David & Rachel continue to work, Rachel even doing some freelance graphic design during her maternity leave. David still works out at the airport and volunteers with the Jet Aircraft Museum in London. A highlight for him was organizing, and participating in, a trip out to Nova Scotia this fall to help bring back an aircraft from there.
Josh started a new company with some associates last year that has really taken off, to the point that he leased office space in Kitchener. Their internet presence is at blockless.com and it gives wider access to Netflix movies and such. We spent a fair bit of time this summer going around to look at houses in the area as he was seriously wanting to buy. While none of his offers went through now he’s now looking at condos.
Alison graduated from teacher’s college, at the University of Western Ontario, in June, and did a fair bit of volunteering at dad’s school in the fall. While she waits to get on the supply teacher list she continues to work the desk at the local pool and moved home in September. Most of her fall was spent helping her friend (and former roommate) Julie prepare for her December wedding, as Alison was her maid of honour.
Joel received a promotion (from cook to Chef de Parti) at Beertown in May and then moved to London in July to help open one of their restaurants there. He enjoyed the many challenges with this but has found some of the politics in the hospitality world to be draining. At the end of the year he was offered a position back at the Waterloo store so now has returned home as well. Joel also did a lot of writing this fall as he made applications to teacher’s college for 2014, hoping to become a culinary teacher in high school in the future.
Most people are probably aware of Beth’s ongoing battle with breast cancer that began at the end of the summer. I’ve written a pretty detailed account on my blog (tkreutzkamp.blogspot.ca). We’re very grateful for how quickly things have been dealt with and have been so impressed with the care at the Grand River Cancer Centre. Chemotherapy finished on December 23rd and Beth is scheduled for a double mastectomy on January 20 (at St. Mary’s hospital). Radiation will follow several weeks after that.
Terry had been looking forward to retirement after March break but now has pushed that forward so that he will be finished at the end of January. He got out golfing with his Dad a bit more this summer and enjoyed helping redo David & Rachel’s backyard. Terry leads the music at church at least once a month and we sing with the children there regularly as well.
Our house got some much needed attention this year too. A young friend, James, who’s starting his own business, did some great work on our family room, steps and kitchen this fall (you can see pictures at facebook.com/starkeycontracting). Currently another longtime friend, Steve, is redoing the kids’ bathroom.
Holiday trips this year included:
- 2 full weeks (instead of our traditional one) at Harp Lake cottage near Huntsville. It was really nice having the extra time as we had friends and family visit over our time there.
- we stayed for a full week at our church Camp Kahquah this year and enjoyed it so much we booked for 2014 as well
- numerous visits with family and friends, including a quick trip up to North Bay and hosting a Hugill gathering at our house, including Beth’s niece Kim’s family from Edmonton
- a getaway to a Bed & Breakfast in Port Stanley with our friends Dan & Ellen in August
- attending the Gentleman of the Road music festival in Simcoe (along with 25,000 other people - all who seemed to be standing in front of me!)
- a few days during March break at Blue Mountain where Josh, Alison & Joel went snowboarding. We had a great room looking right out onto the hill.
- a trip to a concert in Cleveland, Ohio in March and a visit to the Rock & Roll Museum there
Overall, this has been a year of drawing closer together as a family and leaning on the support of so many faithful friends. Tough times have a way of doing that, and we’re especially thankful for the blessings of caring relationships.