A New Year, A Birthday, A Death

Today starts a brand new year, and the Christmas season is semi-officially over; unless you are counting to 12th  night. I love Christmas, with all my senses. I have since I was a child. My fondest memories of childhood were when our whole family was together. My mom, dad and four sisters; the older ones with their children in tow. The last Christmas together in our house there were 25 stockings hung on the mantle. My mom came to our house for Christmas every day  for 25 years as my children were growing. I still  make dinner, just as she did. I might not make Christmas cake and pudding anymore, but I do buy it from a great bakery.

Our Christmas this year was spent at our son’s. We stayed overnight on Christmas Eve and enjoyed out youngest granddaughter’s first really aware Christmas. It really made me think of my mom and our daughter’s first Christmas. I felt a little melancholy missing her, and wishing she had lived longer than her 95 years to see her favourite grandson’s first child. I also missed my dad and my second oldest sister. It seems when you start thinking of one missing person the rest flood in like a tsunami with the cracking of memories.

Death was not far from us this year. My nephew, who happens to be just a year younger that I, lost his wife on December 27th. She was palliative with cancer and went very quickly and unexpectedly. He is not dealing with it very well. Neither of them were prepared in a way that I would want to be. Which brings me to New Years. I find it to be just a superficial line in the sand, a false addendum to the wonderful spiritual season of birth, and rebirth, that is Christmas and Solstice. I am also not one for resolutions but I loved this blog quote from Brain Pickings today.                                                                                     In 1972,  Susan Sontag noted in her diary
“Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.”

My prayer is that I try to make every day a new beginning. As you age and get to grandparent stage, life on the back-end seems so short. I pray for courage to continue this way, because I really want to live until I die. Just like Aurora, our Golden Retriever who turned 4 today. Every moment is just another opportunity to catch a ball. Just like my beloved Echo who died last year at New Years.


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