Sky at dawn, New Year's Day, 2012, Toledo, Ohio
A New Year's Day dawn
Day by day, a year comes and goes. Each new day is the beginning of the rest of our lives. We take with us what we have learned. We are the same and not the same.
No doubt about it, 2011 was a hard year....
--- My dear, sweet, amazing, brave, precious sister-in-law battles stage four ovarian cancer. The tense battle goes on, and hand in hand, we all walk a tightrope with her and my dear brother, from one month of tests and scans and treatments to the next. Her doctors are extraordinary, and I am so grateful she has access to such medical care.
--- In April, my youngest step-brother committed suicide out of the blue, so lost in a hidden black depression that he could not reach out for help, or felt undeserving of help, choosing instead a gun and a bullet. My shell-shocked step-family is in emotional shambles, and his first grandchild was born a couple months ago, never to know him.
--- In June, My ex-husband, Jim, a severe alcoholic, who managed at long last eight months of hard-won sobriety before relapsing, had a stroke and was found dead in his apartment after his newspapers piled up for days. I consider that another suicide.
--- Jim's funeral did bring the blessing of a reunion with his dear family, whom I've know all my life and with whom I was very close during Jim's and my 27 years together.
--- Other good things: Surgery repaired successfully the torn meniscus in my right knee, and thanks to my new endocrinologist, a new medical/vitamin/holistic approach has really helped positively manage my chronic illnesses, so I feel much better.
But all in all, I bid the sadnesses of 2011 a welcome farewell. So glad it has no more curve balls to throw.
As long as we are alive, we will continue to wrestle with questions, seek answers, solve problems and deal with the unexpected. On this journey, let's be gentle with ourselves and others, choosing to respond with non-judging love and acceptance instead of unrealistic demands of perfection.
Each day brings us new opportunities to express our development — more patience, the ability to empathize, the acceptance of a disappointment. Today is another day to learn how to be serene, to nurture body and spirit so that we may function as an integrated soul.
My goals for the New Year are not at the year-long mark, but one day at a time. May each single day in each New Year be freshened by a new-found hope.
Happy New Day.