You, madam, are a sadistic shrew. Oh, I’ll admit you were a worthy opponent. You gave the very worst; sickness, pain and death. You made me cry each and every day, and sometimes made me so sad I almost couldn’t get out of bed. Occasionally I even passed a full twenty-four hours before finding the humor in something. You forced me to cut some ties, and finally move some people to the “love them, but can’t fix them” list.
So many days seemed dark and dreary. I didn’t plant any flowers in springtime, and I didn’t decorate with mums and pumpkins in the fall.
But you made a mistake. You underestimated me. I’ll see your bleakness, strife and struggle and raise you love, family and joy. Yes, I cried every day, but sometimes I laughed at the same time. You took away a pillar in my life, a constant and daily presence like no other, but my love for those left has strengthened. And I feel my mother with me everyday.
I can’t fathom why some people have to go through such a heart-wrenching end to a fantastic life, but I am honored to witness the strength and dignity displayed in misfortune, and learn from observing noble acceptance.
And … during your year, I have enjoyed the manufactured merriment of The Happiest Place on Earth, dipped my toes in the ocean, reveled in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, and travelled through many previously unexplored states. I’ve witnessed breathtaking mountain sunrises, and mystical beach sunsets. I’ve been close enough to smell a buffalo (not recommended), witnessed a bald eagle fish for dinner (highly recommended), and come face to face with a bear, and lived to tell about it (highly recommended from the safety of indoors). I spent a summer learning the art of life appreciation from an incredibly astute twenty-one-year-old wielding a blow-up wading pool and an outdoor sound system. I have renewed friendships and made an effort to say “yes” whenever possible. My boys are the men I always knew they would be, and I’ve grown even closer to my best friend, my husband of almost 30 years.
This year, my house is bursting with Christmas decorations, more than any time since the boys were young. My mother would have loved it!
I look out over my backyard as I write, and appreciate all that I have. I look forward to the coming year, the changes and the chances I will take in the future. I am content.