Old thoughts before a new year

I suppose I would be remiss if I were to leave the Old year for the New without posting some sort of year in review bit of nonsense on this site. I am not really comfortable with the highlight reel approach to these sort of things. Hey guys, let’s discuss my high points for the next five minutes. Wait, you want to read about them? How convenient! I have links here, here and here. Oh, that’s enough of me talking about me! Now YOU talk about me.


Tonight was like many nights. We ate a dinner that one out of two kids liked and then headed downstairs for cake and a movie. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sang on the screen while the girls wrestled in their princess dresses. Riley worked on his computer and looked up to laugh whenever Danny Kaye made a joke. Once in awhile, Zuzu would come up to me and ask if I was enjoying the show and my, weren’t those dresses gorgeous? Viola was all sparkled blue eyes and shouts and dramatic head tosses. My oh my,I love those girls. Zuzu with her thoughtfulness and Viola with her fearlessness. As they hugged and slapped and hugged again, I wanted to see myself in them. Not because they are mine, but because I already so fiercely admire them.

When the cake was eaten and the movie over, we walked those two bright souls to bed. Zuzu asked for one more lullaby as Viola curled into her baby blanket. And for just a moment, through the everyday tired, I felt the blessing of a little girl that thinks my voice carries any power at all. They are asleep upstairs as Riley and I work downstairs. He listens to Led Zeppelin while I pipe bluegrass into my headphones. Just one more night left in this year and I wonder if I can put the past 12 months into words that belong on this page.

This year, I was broken and pieced back together. I look the same, but I can feel where the cracks have been cemented. Stronger than before, but a little different.

I felt the steel in my marriage. Riley and I fought and crashed into each other and laughed and held one another and lifted until we could almost feel the sharp edge of the nearest star. Deciding merely falling more in love is for wusses, we worked ourselves into more love. We searched for it, talked through it and well, you know, put in the time in the bedroom on it’s behalf. And the results have been pretty damn good.

For really the first time, I allowed myself to find fulfillment in motherhood and let the world expand from my toy strewn living room. We adventured and time outed and watercolored the clouds.

I disappointed myself and others and remembered the mercy of a new day.

I ate hospital food when I had forgotten how to taste and watched my strong mom hold the hand of my heartbroken dad.

At times, I stood alone and apart and at times, I let the arms of strangers draw me in.

I found out that I really believe in God, that He  isn’t just a nice theory. He holds up against darkness and doubt and fear and so much anger it feels like your blood might just catch on fire. He soothes and cools and illuminates and weeps and warms. He accepts and hopes and works through Faith. He made you and me and my goodness, doesn’t that say something for both His love and His sense of humor? I am comforted by a God that can laugh.

I felt the ministrations of angels and I felt the torn heart of a life that cannot be live unscathed.

I still sometimes fall into the hurt of the last year. A gasp and the pain and I can’t find my feet. But then there is the touch of my husband’s hand, the joy in the eyes of my daughters and the brush of something greater than you and me, something that carries the smell of stars and the impression of truths strait and gleaming and multi-dimensioned. And I am steadied.

This year gave to me in its taking and it took from me in its giving.

And I am grateful.

Happy New Year, everyone.