Hey there whoever you may be and however you may have found this. It’s Ceindy with my 2018 Year in Review. I wish I had it more organized like last year’s part one and two, but let’s face it – this year was a monster for me. A beautiful magical monster, but at times it was unbearably a huge burden. So let’s just get into it.

It all started with a lot of hope. 

I even remembered my word of the year was self-care. This was supposed to be the year that I was going to get back in shape, I was going to care more about myself – maybe even remember to moisturize every day. Baby steps, right?

lettering of self care

Well, on January 6th, Ryan’s grandmother passed away.

It wasn’t a huge surprise, she wasn’t doing very well – it was getting hard. There were days when we were all convincing her that she was in her house and that no, no one came to move her house onto a different street. And to take her medicine. And no, I’m sorry but you can’t walk to the bathroom by yourself. So when she passed away, as terrible as we all felt, I was grateful that she was at peace. Then, it happened.

First, we need to rewind to an afternoon where I was at work and I got a call.

“Hey Ceindy, will you be my trustee? There’s no one else I trust to deal with my finances. And will you be grandma’s executor? You’ll be helping with dividing up the money.” At least this is how I remembered it. I said yes, because I was (and may still be) very much a yes man. Naive me, didn’t even take the time to look up “executor duties.”

So let’s fast forward to where I found out I was the sole executor, in the middle of a sibling rivalry, where of course, a lot of people thought I would favor my mother-in-law’s “side”.  The fact that there even were any sides is pretty lame. But I promised I would be unbiased because I take legalities really seriously and I wouldn’t go against the will.

Lettering of executor

To keep this brief and to respect my in-laws’ privacy, let’s just say many tearful conversations and weird, dramatic moments later, I am so happy to say I have filed the final accounting before Christmas. Being an executor is a mix of being a coordinator, an accountant, and at times, a therapist. I didn’t use a lawyer because the one who wrote the will rubbed me the wrong way and I felt that I was able to do this without one.

And I was. I was able to do this overwhelmingly huge task with the help of reaching out to others and by asking all the questions. One of my past brides is actually an estate accountant (and I also knew her from high school!) It was a miracle. Being an executor took up a lot of my mind-space and time. That meant less time on my own family and on Ceindy Doodles.

You know the real sucky thing about being the executor?

You don’t really get to grieve. You’re in charge of all these personal things and you have to be very professional about it. Everyone was greatly emotional and I was constantly just trying to figure it all out. Only recently, after nearly 12 months, have I been able to think, I miss that woman so much. 

My own grandparents passed away when I was really young, so I took on Ryan’s grandma like she was my own. I would sit in her room and talk to her about anything and everything. I would bake for her. I would bake and she would watch. I would clean out her tubberware cabinet and she would watch and scowl as I threw away mismatched plastic from the Chinese takeout place.

I believe in learning from all of life’s events and here’s what I learned from this:

  1. Look up what you’re agreeing to.
  2. Ask questions, don’t be afraid to look stupid.
  3. Check your numbers, like 3 times.
  4. Ask for help.

And this, this is not a new thing I’ve learned. But I think it’s important for me to say: Take the time to just sit and think about the person you miss. That way, they are still very much alive.

ceindy doodles lettering it's okay to not do everything

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