top 12 collage 2

I love end-of-the-year “top” lists. About anything, really. It is so interesting to look back on a year and remember what was important in January, what we thought would happen in June, and by December, taking stock of a whole year and looking forward to the next.

2012 was a tough year, personally, nationally, globally. So many terrible things happened in places near and far that I am truly humbled by the smallness of my challenges, the grace of others in crisis, and the blessings that I have. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Here is my top 12 list, in honor of 2012. These are the most-read posts from the blog this year. They are about things I did and things that happened, some are positive and others pissed-off, still others hopeful and some even hopeless. Taken together, they are an interesting and accurate representation of what this year was like. You readers are pretty smart.

12. Let’s Go Red

In February of last year, I went to the casting call for Go Red for Women. In June I learned I had won for Minnesota, making me the 2013 Go Red Spokeswoman. This short post is from my first official engagement in that role this November.

11. D is for Depression

It’s a long story (most of which is at the top of this top-12 list), but following my second heart surgery this fall I was a little low, to say the least. We need to start telling the truth about heart disease and depression.

10. Active Investment

In which I learn that time (and money) spent on exercise is okay, thanks to a zippy one-liner from my husband. It’s a lesson too many women don’t learn or don’t heed.

9. No Joke

The stories about people actually having heart attacks while eating at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas really ticked me off. That’s obvious in this post from February.

8. This Patient’s Story

Last February I spoke at a heart month event for women hosted by the United Hospital Foundation. These are my remarks.

7. Reporting In

If you don’t know the risk factors for heart disease by now, read this post and see how you are doing on each. I did — and I didn’t get all As.

6. Gone Red

More of the story about how I went to the Go Red casting call, what I said, and what happened after I was chosen. Plus some very, very red photos of me.

5. Survivor in Training

Written in May after I was cleared for marathon training and had registered for the Twin Cities Marathon (the one I missed in 2011 due to my heart attack), this post is so hopeful, I can’t help but get sad when reading it.

I made it 368 training miles this summer and through the 20-mile race on September 12. Twelve days later I was back in the hospital. I did not run the marathon again this year, and there won’t be a next year. My doctor says no more marathons.

4. Just Like Me

This fall’s one-two punch started in August. My brother (younger, just 32, father of four, distance runner) had a heart attack too. Just like me.

3. Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice

Not to be outdone, I landed back in the hospital for more angioplasty and another stent a month to the day after him. Things changed for me, dramatically and permanently, after that. It was worse than the first time.

2. My Husband’s Story

The top two posts of 2012 were not written by me. (Hmm, maybe I need to rethink this blog a little!)  My husband Scott wrote this in February, because I asked him to. I’m so glad I did. When you are the sick person, the person in crisis, the center, it’s hard to impossible to know how that affects others.

1. Not Today

And the number one post of 2012 was written by my little brother, about the day of his heart attack. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll know why I love him so much.