We had all the kids at home yesterday, and the house was resonant with laughter and teasing, generous gift-giving and a love I can only reference as palpable. My heart beats more deeply, echoing in my chest, snippets of serious conversation that stay in the forefront of my thoughts as I process and hold them as gently as feathers. “You really are my only mom” (a figurative comment that was so full of history and stories and trust and love that I will never ever forget its intent); “Remember when Grammy would give us shit for playing ball in the playroom and I asked her why it was called a playroom then?” “I used to think it was so ridiculous that you would treat me like a child when I was over; of course now I realize it was because I was a child”. Lessons in wine tasting, a book titled “The Story Of A Lifetime” which offers prompts and questions to facilitate the telling of one’s tale in a way that may be at least salient if not interesting. Laughter that included some good snorts, bad fart jokes and hugs good-bye for which I am never fully prepared.
And so it is as one year ends and another waits in the wings. I guess I’m not fully prepared. Certainly for some of the people I love, it has been a challenging year with losses that re-shape the heart. For most though, it has been relatively gentle. Our lives are intact, marriages seem happy though not without their requisite effort, young adults are realizing that the operative word has changed from ‘young’ to ‘adult’. We’re still close and I am forgiven my maternal neuroses that at least can be shared among three. I consciously tried to be kinder, cared less about judging and more about accepting, placed the notion of acquisitiveness somewhere down on the list where it belongs. I learned this year, perhaps more than the one before, how deeply I can be touched by the candor and stories of people I have come to know in this little universe. I have been gobsmacked when I received comments insisting that I have inspired, or tickled, or pleased, or echoed a thought that had been unspoken in someone else’s thoughts. I’ve been brought to tears and moments of spontaneous delight by David and Bill, Russ and Andrea, Bonnie and Liz, LouAnn and TIna and Ivon, Kizzy, Rhonda. Of course there are more and I do not intentionally omit anyone – you are in this circle with me and I believe you know it. People who comment with thoughtfulness and generosity and love. My friendships have been enhanced and allowed to flourish (for Lori wouldn’t have it any other way).
We found a house to hide in and stand outside of in that mystic fog of the morning when the world demands stillness. Memories have begun to be made, new places to claim as one’s own. And we got Bogey – our juvenile delinquent puppy, who should be wearing a leather jacket with a skull and crossbones instead of his snappy little tartan plaid. Except of course when he’s just so laughably adorable that he is forgiven everything.
I will turn 60 this coming year, a number of some sobriety. I know that at this point I’d be aged-out of employment in many cases (if I was looking), considered truly senior in the eyes of people with younger eyes and minds. And yet, I’m so far from done, I don’t swallow too hard at the number. There is abundant time to try and do better, be kinder, live in moments that should not be ignored, celebrate that which others often miss. Read more, give more, dance in the driveway and maybe even get up and sing. Who knows? There is so much yet to be. Thank you for sharing this part of the trip with me. And Happy Happy New Year.