Good-Bye 2010; I Won’t Miss You.

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Image by sweethardt via Flickr

I know it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m supposed to have some quirky, funny wrap up of the year we have almost left but I’m sorry, I just can’t do it. I can’t wrap up this last depressing year into a neatly wrapped Christmas present tied with a big, red sparkling bow. This last year has been horrible and I can’t wait to see it leave us alone and go away. I don’t care about the Times Square ball dropping and the countdown. Nothing says partying to me more than having two cups of non-alcoholic eggnog, a few Ghiradelli dark chocolate brownies, slipping into my monkey night-shirt and deeply sleeping through the transition of one year to the next.

I admit that I was never much of a party girl for New Year’s Eve before but I do have a legitimate reason not to feel festive these days. My dad died on New Year’s Eve ten years ago. I can’t remember what I had for lunch today but I can’t forget that my mom called me on the phone ten years ago at 10:20pm and told me bluntly “it’s over.” At first I really didn’t understand what she meant. I can’t forget the look of my eight -year- old son screaming “NOOOOO” and  the innocent look in my six-year-old daughter’s bright blue eyes. I remember my husband storming into the room as I started wailing and rocking back and forth, for a very long time, sobbing and holding on to myself and to him. The next thing I remember I was in the fetal position on the bed, moaning.

Mornings after that were the worst for me. I hated waking up each morning, knowing that something was terribly wrong and needing a minute to remember what it was. That in-between state of dreaming and awake was like cruel punishment.  I had a husband, two young children and a puppy that needed me, that saved me and I needed them even more.

In the last few weeks I have felt the best in my life and the worst. My heart has been open and trusting and giving and it has been crushed, cruelly like a sharp ice pick  through young, vulnerable skin. I can see the blood dripping on the beautiful untouched, glittering snow but I can’t believe it. I don’t know what’s real and what’s fake these days.

I’ve grown-up quite a bit this year and I have made amazing progress about boundaries with my extended family. I am no longer the public defender, I have stepped down from that role. I will only comment on what happens between me and another person and everyone else is on their own. For me, this is huge.

Once in a while you take a step forward and then you stumble backwards, sometimes falling straight down to the black ice and breaking bones, sometimes lucky enough to catch an extended, sturdy, warm hand and walk away. It’s all we can ask for. Hope, Trust, Friendship, Love and Health. This is my wish for you.

Find Me A Crocus

Winter is alone. Spring is for friends. Summer is for families.  Fall is for children. I need that tiny glimmer of hope when I look outside at 5 PM and see a bit of the sun still whispering down at me from the sky.  Is the gloomy darkness giving us a chance to take a gulp of winter air and not get lost and turned around in the frost?  How much longer can I see my breath outside as the car shudders and shakes itself to start? Is there a chance, a hope, a tremor, a twinge that Spring may actually be coming in the next few months?

I can minimally handle these cold and frigid days when the sun is out and the sky is a mellow blue. It’s when the limbs of strong, sturdy trees fight, swaying against the gray, dark clouds that I become a hermit and don’t want to leave my cozy house. That’s when I stay inside, if I can, and sip Eggnog Tea and pat my dog on her sweet head so that she closes her eyes and sighs a gracious thank-you.

Stronger and stronger I am feeling the connection between mood and weather, temperature to temperament. I don’t think it’s a fast science but a personal assessment. Some people like the sun; I need the sun. I crave it with my body that is still dry and rough from the long winter. Red, raw hands fighting inside the mittens that promise warmth and comfort but deliver neither.

How can one NOT feel better when you see the spry young spots of purple and yellow crocus’ emerging from the strong, solid earth? The first blush of downy yellow from the forsythia tree in the backyard. The texture of pussy willows as I stroke my thumb against them back and forth like a calming mantra.

Let this bitter cold winter end. The soft billowy snow that once was fresh is now a dull gray mixed with mud.  We have been through this for many years as we  mutter “I hate the winter” to anyone who passes by. Or we say it out loud to ourselves,  over and over again.

We all need a break from the earth, from the world and from ourselves. We need to shine, to stretch like a cat after a long nap, to take long deep breaths that smell like daffodils or mowed lawns, or red wine. Let the spring come to us like a long-awaited for present, no expectation on when it will arrive but always deeply grateful when it does.