We’re at the end of 2012, patiently – or not-so-patiently – waiting for 2013 to show itself. I’ve tried to look back over the year and reflect on all that has happened in my life. I’ve tried to identify the good and the bad; the happy and the sad; the positive and the negative.
While I’m well aware that I experienced some great things over the year, I can’t help but realize how much of it was influenced by cancer.
I gained closer relationships with so many family members over the last year. Unfortunately it was because I was attending so many events alone – because Mom couldn’t come to family gatherings. Because of cancer.
The GCLS conference in Minneapolis helped me to forge more friendships with women from all over the world. So much of that was because I was alone and these fabulous women rallied around me to make sure I was in good company – because Mom couldn’t come to GCLS. Because of cancer.
Church became even more participatory for me since I was becoming more involved with the nuns at our parish. I was filling in for my mother and carrying her messages and gifts – because Mom couldn’t come to church. Because of cancer.
Deceased loved ones at St Mary’s and St Olivet cemeteries get visits from me on a regular basis and their flowers and wreaths are maintained. This is a privilege my mother inherited from her uncles and I’ve inherited it from my mother – because Mom couldn’t go to the cemetery. Because of cancer.
I “successfully” (according to my family) made lasagna and meatballs by myself – from beginning to end – for the first time ever this Christmas. This has been a family tradition, passed down through the generations, and I was determined to keep that tradition going – because Mom wasn’t here to make it with me this year. Because of cancer.
Now it’s New Year’s Eve and I’ve been spending the day thinking and reflecting as I cleaned in the kitchen. I took some time out to watch some of the NYE specials that are playing…and I’ll likely watch a bit more later (in between more cleaning).
Around midnight, I’ll fix myself a Kahlua and milk or crack open a beer; I’ll hold some money for prosperity in the new year and my rosary for continued/strengthened faith in the new year; and I’ll watch the ball drop…or the fireworks in Chicago…or whatever happens to be on the TV at that time. I’ll make and accept phone calls and text messages wishing family members “Happy New Year” (some at 11pm since there’s family on the east coast).
This is my 45th New Year’s Eve…for the first time, I’ll be doing all of this alone – because Mom isn’t here to hug me at midnight this year. Because of cancer.
So, farewell, 2012. You’re most definitely not one of my favorite years.
Please, be kind.
Please, be gentle.
Please, bless my family and my friends.