I don’t know what is in the air or the water this summer, but it has been a giant suckfest.  I guess I had high hopes for the summer.  Actually, I don’t know that I have hope of much of anything anymore.  It seems every time I look forward to something it goes it hell in a hand basket.

summer sucks

July should have been awesome.  We had a family vacation planned where my husband’s whole family was getting together for the week.  It would also be my first time to actually meet our 5-year-old niece in person, since she lives in Chicago.  And most of the trip was fantastic.  We had a great time and really got to enjoy each other.  And my niece is a precious dreamboat!  I was worried that a week wouldn’t be enough time to really bond with her, but we clicked right away and it was a snuggle fest.  But like any family vacay, there are always moments where everyone seems to want to strangle each other.  But everyone emerged unscathed.

We rushed home from the trip to use my photographic skills to help my hubby’s opera crew show their support for the Metropolitan Opera.  On our way home, we were very nearly killed in a car accident.  Fortunately, and thankfully for my husband’s quick reflexes, we only had to take a short ride through the grass.  Unfortunately, we had a fatality when his computer monitor (lovingly swaddled between a blanket and pillow) was trashed during the off-roading.  Blah.  After the excitement of the trip, the quick photo shoot, and dinner with a friend, my body pretty much retaliated and I ended up in the hospital.

That was the first of FOUR trips between July and today (yes, I was just released from visit #4 this afternoon).  A few days later, our good friend LeeAnn lost her battle with breast cancer.  That was such a blow.  We knew it would be coming, sooner rather than later, as she has been planning for this for a while.  But it really hit hard for both me and my husband, who is good friends and colleagues with her husband.  He had also agreed to help coordinate fellow opera friends to sing at her memorial service, so it was really tough emotionally for both of us.

I am also missing my pseudo-kid pretty hard-core.  We had to make a decision before the summer to send her back home, and I regretted it immediately.  Yes, we butted heads, but we also learned a lot from each other and I really miss her being around, being a goof ball, and just enjoying watching her grow and learn.

And this week I SHOULD have spent celebrating my husband’s birthday, but instead my jerk-wad body decided it was time to freak out again and cause me to spend another 4 days in the stupid hospital.  I am REALLY starting to hate that place.  I mean, yeah, the morphine supply is a plus, but that wears off pretty quickly.

I have no idea why I decided to write tonight.  I was messing around on Facebook earlier and playing some games and I came across Farmville 2, which has been my favorite game for a while.  But I haven’t played it in a long time, and I couldn’t remember why.  I clicked on it to play, and then immediately closed the window.  It finally hit me – The only friend I had who also played that game was LeeAnn, and now she is gone.  That made me really sad. Not because of a stupid game, but the finality of her no longer being around really hit me.

I’m not going to pretend that we were best friends or anything.  We really only met a handful of times in person, and other than Facebook and random opera events, we didn’t have a lot of contact.  But there was something really special about her and I felt a bit of kinship with her.  We were both young, and sick, though for different reasons.  We talked several times about the stupid things that people say to you when you are sick with something they don’t understand.  She also never made me feel like my illness wasn’t a big deal because it wasn’t cancer.  She was genuinely concerned about me every time I was sick, just like I was with her.   She also had such a great sense of humor and was so grounded in reality about where she was in life.  The last time I saw her in person was at the final dress rehearsal for an opera our husbands were in.  I walked up to her and happened to be smoking a cigarette.  I went to give her a hug and then said, “OH my God, I am such an asshole!” and went to move the cigarette away from her.  She gave me a look like I was nuts and said, “I’ve already got cancer.  Seriously? What’s the worst that could happen?”  She also told me that people were always asking her if she was planning to stop drinking Diet Coke… she said, “Why? What could it possibly do to me at this point?”  I loved that about her.  Real.  Honest.  And funny.

So, tonight I guess I am just a little sad.  Sad that she has gone.  Sad that the kid is gone.  Sad that my husband has been down this week.  And just sad that this is the summer of suckage.

But, there are good things on the horizon.  I’m throwing my husband (who hates to be the center of attention) a big karaoke birthday party (because he deserves to have people love on him).  My friend Winnie has called and requested a girls’ trip over Labor Day weekend, which hopefully will be awesome.  And my sweet nieces are starting school again (2nd grade and Kindergarten) and I can’t wait to see all the cute pictures.  I am also looking forward to this damn heat and humidity going away, though that may not happen until much later in the year than what I am ready for.

And did I mention my 20 year class reunion is in October?  When the hell did that happen?  That’s not ok!!  2014, you can totally suck it.  I am ready for next year already.

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