2010 will not be a year missed in the Thompson household. From the frigid, paralyzing winter that began the year in January to the paralyzing back problems that leave me pretty much mobilized here at year’s end — both have been bookends to several months of declining health that means my mother may or may not recognize me when I walk into her home.

We are, an older relative once told me, defined by how we handle crisis. If so, this has been a poorly defined year for me.  I haven’t handled my mother’s declining health well and dealing with a back condition that some doctors say should have left me in a wheelchair three decades ago certainly has not helped.

So we look forward to 2011 with hope and anticipation. It has to get better.

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