It’s the last day of 2013.
I haven’t chronicled much of my life in this space this year. Having started this blog nearly four years ago with the purpose of telling my life story, bit by bit, in short remembered pieces gave it a purpose that at one point kept me blogging one post a day for months at a time.
It took me nearly two years to do it, to write down the memories that shaped who I am. It was a crazy thing to do, and once it was over, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I wrote about births, deaths, illnesses, boyfriends, lovers, marriage, abuse, rape, adultery. I wrote about my hopes and dreams, my crushes and my losses. When I look back and read some of those posts now, it’s like revisiting that time in my life, like visiting an old friend, or an old wound.
I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I took that journey. Some day I’ll admit to those I know and love that I have done this, and share it. Some day.
This year was a big and small year. A year of big events and small steps.
In January we were still reeling from the shootings at Sandy Hook here. When I think of that month, it still seemed so dark and raw. The kids from Sandy Hook came to school in our town; the media were everywhere. So was kindness and love. A highlight was that I ran a 10K in Central Park, spending time with my husband’s cousins from Spain.
In February I quietly “celebrated” the twenty years it has been since I lost my mother. I still am shocked that it has been so long. Most of my friends still have their mothers, even now, twenty years later, although some friends are starting to go through that loss of losing parents now that we’re older. I miss her still but somehow this year managed to realize I look back more with love and longing than sadness and loss.
In March my daughter took center stage. She celebrated her 13th birthday and performed in our local school’s production of Little Women.
In April my son was married. It was a hugely emotional event, with family and friends from near and far in attendance. He married a woman who is as deeply religious and traditional as he is. I wonder sometimes if his tendency towards that conservative family model is because, while he was raised most of his life in a two parent household, he knows and can never forget that he has never met his biological father. It still is a raw wound of sadness in the back of both of our minds, but his wedding was beautiful and perfect in every way.
In May we were busy with my preparations for the race I was putting together and the kids’ school.
In June my 5K happened, the culmination of 6 months of work. It went off without a hitch and it raised $11,000 for local charities. It also marked the beginning of my partnership with one of the Sandy Hook family foundations. My kids also closed out another school year and we entered into summer mode.
In July my daughter attended theater camp, winning the role of Young Fiona in a local theater company’s production of Shrek. My young son and I did summer school work at home and visited the town pool while she went to her camp. My husband continued to travel for work.
In August my daughter had her big performance. The day she was done our entire family joined my husband’s parents and sister for a family trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was a hot week at the beach there, and his Spanish speaking family loved it. I felt a little lost frankly, but consoled myself with the sun and the sand. After we returned, we visited my son and his wife in the DC area, having a nice time learning more about her family.
In September I ran in Central Park again, meeting up with my father for the weekend in the city. The next weekend I went to visit my 90+ year old grandparents in Delaware. My son and his wife came too and shared the news that they were expecting my first grandchild.
In October my husband traveled a great deal, being gone nearly every week. I campaigned for a spot on our local board of education by eschewing signs and using social media only.
In November I won the BOE seat. My daughter performed in another school drama production, “Usher”. I continued my freelance website work that I have done all year in fits and starts.
In December we returned to Florida for our annual trip at Christmas. We have gone in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2005-2013. That’s pretty much our tradition now. My son and his pretty pregnant wife also were there, as were my husband’s parents. It was a lovely time of relaxing, reflecting and looking forward to what’s ahead. My husband worked less than he ever has on the trip, which was a lovely surprise. We all talked about next year there being a baby with us. We counted our blessings and enjoyed each other’s company.
2014 will be another year of sameness coupled with some big events. My day to day world will feel the same but much will change. Each year I get a little more able to really appreciate all that I have and be content rather than worry about what others have that I don’t. I’m not there yet, but I have made a lot of progress towards it.
I hope that everyone out there has something to celebrate tonight, and something to look forward to next year. Happy New Year!