Newsflash: Fat Lady Is Singing “Auld Lang Syne”

Because we’re human, it seems we can’t cross over into a new year without conducting our own personal assessments of the one just ending. We need to strip off the make up and examine our bare faces (and other body parts – yikes!), complete with all our pock marks, scars and blemishes. We need to ask, Did we accomplish enough? Did we ‘make our mark’? Did we succeed?

So, as the numbers 2 – 0 – 1 – 3 swirl around the bowl one last time before ducking out of sight into the commode of life history, I’ll get mine out of the way now. It’s pretty heady stuff, so prepare to be amazed. Ready? Okay, here it is: We made it.

Deep thoughts, right?
I know!

As I was thoughtfully meandering through the past 11 + months, there were a lot of milestones that flashed up on my mental slide show. Our families and friends shared births, weddings and, sadly, funerals. We marked birthdays and anniversaries and celebrated joys and sorrows of our own and with others. Images cascaded through my mind, each with its own distinct memory. If I hit the mental ‘pause’ button at any given point, I could take a mental time-trip back to their exact moment and re-experience it all – sights, sounds, feelings and even smells. Ah, the wonder of our minds!

Going through it all, there are many, many moments I’d like to re-live and share and also more than a handful that I don’t ever want to go through again (although the life lessons remain). If I could, I’d place my hand against the side of your face and do the Vulcan mind-meld with you. I would watch the expressions on your face in splendid wonder and, at the end, we would both sit back and sigh, exhausted and exhilarated.

And that’s why I boiled it down to those three words.

We made it.

Now, enjoy some of the images from our lives this past year…
2013 year in review 2

Advertisements

Christmas Confession

Confession time. I actually toyed with the idea of not putting up a Christmas tree this year.

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story…

We’re not celebrating Christmas with the family until next month because of timing and other families’ celebrations. It just gets to be too hard on the kids and grandkids.

Odds are, we probably won’t see them until then (insert sad face here). Not complaining; just stating fact. And, since we have no parties planned here either, I thought maybe, just maybe, I should not ‘bother’. After all, it will be ‘just the two of us.’ I asked Nick his opinion last weekend and got “it’s up to you,” in response. (sigh). Decorating the tree has always (always) been a special part of our family tradition for the Advent season. I normally am chomping at the bit to put the tree up right after Thanksgiving. After all, it’s time. A happy time. An expectant time: Jesus’ birth is coming. Family will be all around – even if not on Christmas, soon afterwards. All is right with the world. But somehow, this year, the looming, extra-length emptiness has been lingering around my heart and making even the smallest Christmas efforts seem monumental.

I even thought about putting up a smaller, table top tree on our dining room table instead of the big tree. That’s tough for me to admit because it takes me back to the year when my folks quit putting up a full sized, real tree in THEIR house. I can distinctly remember walking into their living room that year and seeing a little tree – it had to be the cut-off top of a tree – perched on their entertainment center. Sharp disappointment hit me – it was the end of an era and I knew it. At that exact moment, somehow, it hit me – the recognition that they had passed a point and would not be returning. I knew that the end (of their lives) was much closer than the beginning (does that make sense?).

While in a store last weekend I stopped in front of their display of various sizes and designs of little pre-lit trees. It made me sad to look at them. I waited to see if anything ‘hit’ me. Nothing did. “Why not just wait and see if you feel like putting up our tree sometime between now and Christmas,” my personal ‘wise man’ said as he stood beside me, looking at my sad boo-boo face. “I don’t think all of these are going to go anywhere.”

So, every night this week, I sat in our living room, looking at the corner where the Christmas tree normally sits by now. The rocking chair there seemed to mock me. Normally, it’s fine. But now, not. Nothing seemed right. Maybe I should decorate the rocker instead, a part of my brain mocked. Oh, shut up, I told myself.

Then, this morning, it hit me full force. WHAM! Tears down my cheeks. The whole she-bang. Listened to Christmas music and cried through every song. Sadness and probably a bit of self pity, but I managed to turn it into joy when I realized the real reason for our Christmas season. How selfish I was being by not wanting to truly celebrate our Savior’s birth!

So, the tree went up tonight. Here it is, in all it’s glory, with our precious Nativity scene underneath it. IMG_2371 (2)