When Christa and I were married, we would write a letter each year to highlight our comings and goings to share with family and friends in a christmas card. By “we,” I mean me. I enjoyed writing it and Christa’s writing usually sounded more like an instruction manual or legal brief. I like to write soft and pretty and she is just about the facts. We always laughed about it and we still do actually. So I took the responsibility for the annual letter. The title was always DeRouen Digest with the current year. Cute right? I agree.
2011 was the last year that we sent out a letter. It was January 1, 2012 that our world changed forever. It was the best and worst day of my life. You’ll have to read more of my blog to discover why.
So I’ll update what is happening in the abundant lives of the DeRouen family. Christa continues to operate CarePatrol of Phoenix. She is dedicated to helping families find the safest assisted living options for her clients. She has once again won the DeRouen Mother of The Year Award for her exemplary execution of two epic birthday parties for Carly who became a teenager and Casslyn who is sweet 16. She welcomed Cooper into the family and he is so adorable and handsome and takes his role as man of the house very seriously. I should mention that Cooper is a Goldendoodle.
Carly started Jr High this year and is loving the transition. She is now 13 and continues with piano lessons. She is so dedicated to her practice and lessons. She is a mini-Christa. Perfect grades and will negotiate with her teachers for every single point that she earns.
Casslyn is a sophomore in high school and she turned 16 and we threw an epic sweet 16 party complete with a DJ and and Daddy/Daughter dance. She is active in the Theatre Arts and Future Farmers of America. She has her driving permit and will be getting her license soon. Her driving skills are pretty dang good. I am her instructor.
Chet has left the world of hospice and returned full-time to real estate. He continues to facilitate the group that he founded which connects gay men across the world who have been or may currently be in a mixed orientation marriage. He is enjoying spending more time with Casslyn and Carly.
The DeRouen family is thriving and growing. The past 7 years have been tumultuous and down-right unkind at times. We hunkered down, closed ranks and embraced one another. We loved and forgave our way to reconciliation. We are more humble. More empathetic. More Aware and stronger than we could have ever imagined.
We have been in the arena getting our arse kicked. We have dirt on our face, mud on our shoes, sticks and pieces of rock in our hair, but yet we persisted. We haven’t lost a battle yet. We have been criticized and ridiculed. We have been accepted and affirmed. We have been hurt and shamed. We have been loved and encouraged. We are not victims. We are changed. We are DeRouen’s.