It is said that there is nothing really special about December 31. It simply marks the passing of one day and, for most, it will be followed by another. We are the ones that make it special. For some this may be true, but for most of us we are reflective and anticipating the clean slate we believe tomorrow will bring. I fall into this category.
This is an anniversary of sorts for me and my husband. The number seems far larger than I think could be true, but I've checked the dates and it is a surprisingly factual marker. On a New Years Eve 31 years ago I met my husband. A random bumping caused us to become aware of one another's existence, though the initial meeting was not love at first sight. More like tolerance and aggravation that warmed into a deep affection and blosssomed into love. And here we are.....years down the road......still in love. More than ever. It is a mystery to me that the two of us are in this well rounded relationship that provides comfort, nurturing, wisdom, love and passion all these many days later. 11,315 give or take ...with a few leap years thrown in. We reside in a peace that creates a yearning in both of us when we are apart. This was not lived out in front of either of us, so I believe it has been created by our mutual love, admiration and respect for one another. It is also a gift. Unexpected and much appreciated.
So here at the end of 2008, I pause and reflect as I have ever since I knew it was worthwhile. This year has held what every year has -- births, deaths, fear, faith, surprise and excitement. But this year held more peace than years past. Maybe my age has caused more calmness or I'm simply too exhausted to get up in arms about things I KNOW I cannot control. Years further back reach out to tap me on the shoulder and ask to be found as memorable as this one and I can nod my head in agreement and know that brilliant spots from any of the past years can be remembered alongside this annual consideration. Pots and pans on the front yard of my parents house when the clock struck midnight. Parties that ended in kisses and hugs. Fireworks and sparklers. The sadness of my father in law's unexpected passing.
This year I watch the movie reel of faces roll before my mind's eye and recall with excitement and sadness the memories we made together. Beach houses that I hope will remain forever in my granddaughter's mind. Sand castles washed away by many tides since, but made with child like precision in the moment. Firepits and marshmellows. Blisters and worn sneakers. The joy of a completed goal. A healthy newborn cry and first words. Games of Candyland and the sight of primary colors painted so carefully on pages that will decorate kitchen refrigerators. An introduction to musical instruments at a Christmas pageant and the wonder as they hear again the story of Jesus and understand what the season is all about. The bright upturned face watching the parade finish with Santa and holding her mothers hand as they race back to the warmth of home. And the whisper that asked "Who will give Santa a present?".
These memories and whispers are the ones that will reach out in the future and tap us on the shoulder and ask if we remember them. These whispers will follow us and remind us of years well lived and moments we slowed down enough to enjoy. But for now we put them to bed and wait for the stroke of midnight to begin a whole new year of smiles and whispers.