Last night, as we sat on the cusp of 2012, my husband asked me if this had been a good year.
I teared up.
There is one memory that hasn’t left me all year. One memory that was created exactly one year ago from last night. As the clock on 2010 started to run out, I looked over at my husband and gave him a secret, knowing smile. We are notorious for having absolutely uninspiring New Year’s Eves together. Last year was no different. There we sat in my in-law’s living room, me on the computer, him on the couch watching television. My husband was enjoying wings and beer. I was feeling far from home and kind of disappointed that we were spending another uneventful New Year’s Eve.
But Dan and I also had a secret.
And this secret made me certain that the year we were looking forward to would be a wonderful one.
As the clock struck midnight, Dan and I leaned in and gave each other a kiss. Then we whispered to each other about the joys that 2011 would bring, about the way our family would change, about the new life we were blessed with.
I was pregnant. And being newly pregnant looking onto a new year is an exciting and positive experience.
I remember this. So vividly.
I also remember how my expectations for 2011 were crushed just two days later as the life inside of me was ripped out from within.
January 2nd 2011 marked the beginning of a year stained with loss and death. Two unborn children. My husband’s father. My grandmother. Each so beloved in their own way. And in their own way, none really knew just how much at the time of their passing. A year of hurts and pain. A year of uncontrollable crying and excessive strength. A year that brought me to knees at times and jaded me with anger at others. A year that I never, ever want to repeat.
I remember in March already wishing that the year would be finished – already feeling like I had handled more than I possibly could.
That was my year.
And yet, in 2011, I ran a 5K. In 2011, I lost weight. In 2011, I experienced my boy’s second year of life. I accomplished goals and shared so much joy with my little family. And I learned that maybe, just maybe, I am able to do more, to handle more, than I ever thought possible.
So when my husband asks me, on the eve of 2011, about whether I had a good year, I don’t have any other response but tears. This past year was horrible in so many ways. This past year tested us and stretched us and broke us.
And I am sure that this past year brought us together and made us stronger.
So welcome 2012. I wish that this year will be better than the last. I hope that this year brings more life than death, more strength than weakness, more joy than pain. I hope that as I ring in 2013 in an equally lousy fashion, that I reflect upon 2012 as a year that brought my family even closer together.
Happy New Year!