My dad used to write sarcastic Christmas newsletters to humorously highlight the not so great moments of our past year. Luckily for this exercise, 2015 was filled with many of those. In his honor, I wrote one for this year. To those who celebrate: Merry Christmas, my friends.
Well it’s been another banner year in the Limperis household. 2015 gifted us with consistently worse new dawns piled delicately on top of each other, creating a record setting level of stress. We did it! We broke a record! While 75% of the Limperis clan went unemployed this calendar year, we managed to do more work than we thought humanly possible. Each day was packed to the brim with sadness, debilitating anxiety and extensive efforts to help dad feel a little bit better in the face of stage IV brain cancer. We spent the better part of the year up North at our second home, Dana Farber, but we managed to find some moments for ourselves as well:
Alyssa was a busy bee! She has wanted a puppy for as long as she could speak and this year she finally got her first pet – a set of persistent bedbugs who loyally stayed by her side for months. She received them right upon moving into a brand new place and promptly had to throw away all of her belongings, lose her broker’s fee and head to Craigslist to find a new pad. Luckily, she managed to find a great spot in the East Village with a walk in closet! She lived in the walk in closet. She remained unemployed for the better part of the year but used her spare time to develop an anxiety provoked heart murmur, lose a considerable chunk of her hair & go through a breakup.
Linda had an equally busy year! She spent the majority of it doing everything. Everything! She then spent her free time doing hobbies like paying the bills and being in charge of dad’s pills and driving dad everyday to radiation and never leaving dad’s side and cooking meals and doing every activity that dad wanted and working with a nutritionist to try to slow down dad’s tumor and helping her kids with their problems and maintaining a home and learning more about Glioblastoma than our neuro-oncologist’s medical students and doing daily laundry and surprising dad with a new porch and making every holiday special and barely showering because she truly didn’t have the time. And all that with a broken shoulder she got when protecting dad from a wave in the ocean. Jingle Bells!
Mark Mark Mark! Mark managed to be the sole source of income and stability* for our family this year. As the saying goes, “Money can’t buy happiness but we have neither”. He not only provided us with the “green” (like red and green, Merry Christmas!), but he was able to still maintain a vibrant nightlife. He spent countless nights up until 5am talking Alyssa down from panic attacks and existential crises. He celebrated his 28th birthday with a surprise party – Alyssa woke him up in the middle of the night and asked if he could talk through the exact same thing they talked through directly before going to bed. We’re all proud of Mark this year, especially Alyssa’s therapist, for shouldering her load.
*Mark took two leaves of absences, lived in three apartments & saw one friend once
Lastly, Dad spent this year honorably fighting for his life while continuing to make us laugh every single day. He was given a terminal cancer diagnosis and he took it the way he did everything in his life: with courage, resilience and light. He never asked why, never complained, never gave up hope and never left our sides. Instead of spending his last year dying, he spent it teaching us how to live. He died on October 20th, 2015 but he hasn’t left our sides since. We are all in stinging pain as we approach our first Christmas without him but we are getting by with his spirit as our guide. He’s here. Harder to see, but he spent 2015 reminding us where he would be and how we could find him when we could no longer see him. He’s here and he will be for all the banner years to come.
We wish you a beautiful holiday with your family and we thank you for all of your unwavering support this year. We couldn’t have done it without you. In our sadness and emptiness, we continue to find hope in your love. Be well. Go run with bells for Jim.
The Limperis Clan