Growing up New Year’s Eve was spent in church; we had a vigilia, an all-night vigil, or prayer meeting. There would be food, of course, and lots of socializing, along with prayer. I miss those New Year celebrations.
Since those long gone days, I do not think much about the New Year celebrations. Throughout the years I have gone to or thrown a party or two, and ventured out to those firework displays, put on by so many cities and even gone out to dinner with a cute little hat. But in truth, New Year’s normally does not mean much to me anymore, except that my Mother died on New Year’s Eve.
I do not even remember, without doing a search of my photos or social media, what I did to ring in 2020. However, I find myself looking forward to New Year’s 2021.
Like so many others, I am past ready for 2020 to enter the history books; and I am truly hoping she will somehow manage to go out like a lamb. I think that is a prayer more than just a hope.
To say that 2020 has been challenging would be a serious understatement. I know we have fared well; but I am so aware of the heartache experienced by so many people whom I love, and even more by complete strangers.
Yes, I am dreading the Election day / week predictions of social unrest; but I am looking forward to the elections at least being over, so I hope (pray). I am really looking forward to a vaccine for covid and praying life can come back, at least a bit, to what it was before all this, despite the things which have permanently changed. I know there have been a lot of permanent changes, especially with the people in our lives.
With a great deal of trepidation, I am starting to dare to make plans! So far, even the people included in my plans, do not know they are part of my plans, but they are. (Except Adriana now knows.)
Yesterday, I started thinking about an alternative Thanksgiving, sometime in February. I know that not everyone who was at the last special Thanksgiving will be able to come, because they are gone or just not around. But still I am starting to make plans, and that makes me happy!
I am looking forward to seeing the people in my life, from whom I am separated from, for various reasons, other than covid. But I am also daring to imagine, spending time with other people, and that is very exciting!
This last week, my cousin, wrote a comment on my Facebook page, speaking about how close he was to my Mother. As you who read these pages know, he could not have wished me a Merrier Christmas or Happier Birthday or Greater New Year! It meant so much to me for him to speak of my Mother.
I spent some time thinking about her as an aunt and about how close she was to his parents, given all the miles and other obstacles which divided them.
I then started to think about how my Mother acted when she with her brothers. I am open to being corrected, but I do not remember her behaving the same way with any other people, in her life. When she was with them, by and large, she would “let her hair down”, if you will.
My Mother was not carefree and she carried the weight of the world upon her shoulders. But when she was with her brothers, she would let go a bit, finding more reasons to laugh, and carry herself in a much more relaxed manner; like she knew they had her back. I loved watching her with them.
So many from my Mother’s generation are sadly gone; I imagine them gathering around, a table in heaven, having the best chicken dinner ever! But my generation is still here, and while it is not the same, we are trying to stay or shall I say become newly connected, and that also makes me hopeful.
My cousin’s words have made me very happy. I do not believe I would have even had the possibility of reading his words, were it not for his sister-in-law, who has become a very dear friend to me. I am eternally grateful to her for opening up this door in my life. (I am pretty sure you know I am writing about you Paula!)
I know I have digressed, I am sorry. But as I think about how difficult this year has been, and how much I want 2021 to arrive, I am also appreciating that there are blessings to count.
We have yet to eat a meal on Linda’s table; we want to share that first meal with her. I cannot imagine a “special Thanksgiving” in February without Marcial being there with Adriana; and even though Suhail is not here, Nelly and the children must be there; after all it was in Peter’s honor that we had the first special Thanksgiving. Linda must sit in one of the captain’s chairs, but hopefully the other will be occupied by Nour. I know that are others who I would like to gather around that table. We will celebrate life again, and at the very least be grateful we survived 2020.
But I am also daring to imagine breaking bread with my cousins, and their wives. It brings a smile to my face, as I even think about that possibility.
The wows are real; and this year has been a mess. But perhaps because we are at least nearing the end of the calendar year, I am beginning to have hope. I hope you are too. That is all for now.