Monko Family Update Letter
Season''s Greetings! I hope you are doing well!
They say that the quality of our lives is not dependent on what is going on around us, but how we decide to respond. So even despite much drama and chaos and grief going on right now in our world, I choose to be grateful for a lot of good too, like family and friends like you, a warm home, plenty of food, clothes on my back, and a feeling of safety and security within myself. The year started off sadly.
Right around Chelsea's 17th birthday in mid-February, we learned that Steve's brother, Jim (44), who'd been living with us just two weeks earlier, passed away. We were deeply saddened by Jim's untimely passing. He was so young with so much spunk. Maddie turned 16 on April 18. She continued to struggle with her health and her relationship with her Dad. She missed her Dad, who moved to PA a year earlier.
So she decided to visit him in the summer and they began to heal their relationship.
She had two more hospital stays, in May and in September. The last one was a wake-up call of sorts, since she had been very sick. She's now doing much better, taking the necessary steps to stay healthy. She also made a big decision to move to her Dad's later this month. She plans to stay at least one semester, return home in the summer, and then who knows what she will do in the fall? Steve, Chelsea and I plan to
drive Maddie to her Dad's on 12/26 and stay at their home for a few days.
This is quite an undertaking as my ex-husband (my friend calls a wasbund) and I have had an estranged relationship since our divorce in 1998. We are all doing it for the sake of family harmony and what will be best for all concerned many years down the road. I believe forgiveness is key here. Both families are going through great transitions. I'm happy Maddie is getting along with her Dad, and, at the same time, we are all very sad to see her go. Chelsea continues to work at Smoothie King and do well in school.
She received the honor of being accepted into Chamber Choir, and she is singing at the St. Louis Symphony on 12/22. She began dating her first serious boyfriend in April. This experience has challenged her and brought her much joy. One day at a time. She has applied to several local colleges, and so the jury is still out on where she will attend. She is both excited and afraid about this new phase in her life. In July, Steve's Mom, Jean Monko, passed away from a heart attack at 79. It has been a rough year for the
Monko family. Jean was a lovely woman, with a contagious laugh and a BIG heart.
She was a wonderful Mother and loved her family deeply. We miss Jean very much! Steve's brother, Bob, moved in with his Dad not long before Jean passed. Bob continues to live with Joe. They are doing well, considering all that has happened this year. Our family and my Mom took a special vacation to Arizona this summer. We saw the majestic Grand Canyon and the awe-inspiring Sedona with its red
rock mountains. Our resort was top notch; it was so cool to see the cacti and all the different vegetation. Steve and I continued our tradition of getting away for a few days alone in the spring and fall.
This year we went to Paradise Point and Big Cedar Lodge, both near Branson. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary on 10/22. We always have such a wonderful time, slowing down, enjoying wine, cheese and crackers, and good conversation. I began teaching workshops in July after going to Canada for 3 business trips to learn how to conduct workshops. This further enhanced my business, Harmony Harbor, in which I've done hypnosis & life coaching since March 2008 .
I am so grateful to be surrounded with amazing friends and family. I continue to learn to love and grow and be my BEST Self.
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God Bless You Abundantly!