Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Happier New Year. Really.

I don't know what it is about New Year's. It always does something to me. It could be that it is my birthday, that I am turning older as everyone else celebrates the start of the new year. It could be memories of my mother, and us celebrating my birth together, just the two of us each year as the rest of the world slept. It could be some of the horrendous things I have lived through, remembering and learning from them, and hoping that the next year brings me peace. Whatever the reason, I always cry when the clock strikes midnight. Always, without fail. Despite the fact that I will be working as 2009 and my 32nd birthday strikes, I expect tonight to be no different. Now, I just want to relive 2008.

This was the year I was sure I was going to have to send my husband off to war...

...The year we became tougher as a couple.

..The year we said Goodbye to Holly, John's grandpa. The one who reminded me of a Norman Rockwell portrait with the suspenders and wire-rimmed specs and round rosy cheeks. As the years took his memory away, he never forgot John or Evan and showed me what a Grandparent is, having never known my own.

...The year that "brain" and "tumor" were put together in a sentence to wreck my world.

... The year I was faced with my own mortality and learned that my life is not a given.

...The year I had to worry about what would become of Evan and John if something were to happen to me.

...The year the rug was pulled from under us, the walls came crashing down and we had to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and build anew.

...The year I learned that we could pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and build anew.

...The year we learned that our son truly is extraordinary, not just in our eyes, but to the rest of the world as well.

...The year a tragic event pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to do what I had always said I wanted to do.

...The year I came home.

...The year I finally bit the bullet and decided to go back to school in my hometown. I have never failed at anything I truly wanted. After this past year, I have learned that I am tough enough to take the risk. I am throwing caution to the wind and doing what I came here to do.

...The year I became a little bit stronger, a little bit wiser.

Would I relive 2009? No. I would not. Through all of the events of my life, I have never said I would not go back and do something. Even the most tragic event has taught me at least a little something. I get through them by chalking them up to lessons learned about myself and the world around me. This past year has been no exception, but I will never say I want to relive that hell. This past year has done something to me. I am changed, whether it be for better or worse, and I cannot go back and erase any of it. Never again will I take my life for granted. Never again will I assume that tomorrow is a given. Ever since March 12th, I have hugged my son a little bit tighter, kissed John for a little bit longer. I stopped leaving the house without a hug and kiss for them both, with a hearty "I Love You".

2009 can be nothing but better for us. I hope it is for you as well.

Now, here is my favorite song for this time of year. Happy New Year!

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