2017: It was the best of times, the worst of times

By Sue Staton

As 2017 comes to an end, and I reminisce about this year, one phrase keeps coming to mind: “It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.”

I must admit there was seldom a week that did not seem to have its day of bad news from some area.

My readers got to go through a lot of the year with me as I complained through my columns, but if I had told them everything they would have thought I was lying.

I will only briefly mention a few of the worst things once more that seemed to pummel my family in one direction or the other. The hated and dreaded cancer has hit all five of my mother’s children. Things still look scary in my family on that note. I will not go any further because only God knows our future. We have all been in and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals all year long.

We have been to the funeral homes for extended family members and many close friends. There has hardly been a week I have not had to visit a funeral home or church to pay respects for a friend. In fact, I have to go tonight to another friend’s visitation and funeral tomorrow.

With some things came the worst and the best of times. One of my major scares came with my husband when the doctor warned us he may lose a leg because of smoking. He had 100 percent blockage in one leg and 70 percent blockage in another.

After two major surgeries, the doctor was able to clean the arteries in his leg, and after a long recovery, he is doing so much better. As a result, he quit smoking.

Our son, Keith, also had to have a major surgery for his back. He spent the biggest part of this year in pain. He is now doing better.

My cancer is stable as I speak with very close surveillance from my doctors and many tests. This has been since a new diagnosis of cancer in May and my second bout of cancer.

My sister has spent many days in and out of the hospital for heart afibrillation and is still having a hard time keeping her heart in rhythm.

As you can see, there have been some very scary times this year in my life. However, it is when you get scared your pray more. You draw closer to God during these times.

We have just spent a wonderful Christmas with all our children. Christmas Eve was spent with Keith and Erica and their family and Christmas day spent with Kim and Shanda and their families.

Another of the best of times is we have had prayers from all over this county to help get us through this year.

My community Bible study group has meant the world to me, my church family, my closest friends and you, my readers, have let me know you care.

Eric and I will soon have an anniversary, celebrating 31 years of marriage Dec. 31. We have many wonderful — and some not so wonderful — memories but that is what makes a marriage. The good has definitely outweighed the bad.

After all, we could not have made it this far without each other.

I have to admit I look at 2018 with trepidation because unless a miracle happens, it looks like I will lose a sibling this year. While I know God still performs miracles and I am praying for one right now it does not look promising.

I am going to say the worst year is over with. I bid 2017 adieu and will say, “See ya later, 2017, you taught me a lot!”

Let me end with this: Never take life for granted. Never take your family for granted. Never take your friends for granted and be careful when you think you have had a bad day, you may look back and see it wasn’t so bad after all.

2018, be nice to everyone, please!

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.