Thanks for the Memories

by Bella Rum

Screen shot 2010-12-31 at 2.01.33 PMI hated to kiss 2014 goodbye. This is the first time I’ve felt this way about a year in a good, long while. It was a very good year! I didn’t write much of a post about New Year’s last year, but I found something that I wrote two years ago, January 1, 2013. I never posted it here. My guess is that it was too depressing. Here’s an excerpt.

Twenty-twelve is finally in my rearview mirror and I like it that way. I can still hear its mocking refrain ringing in my ears, “So long, sucker!” Twent-thirteen saw me whimpering and sniveling and crawling across the threshold, but I’m still here.

I spent the Christmas holidays in the hospital with some disgusting respiratory thing that nearly killed me. I almost died right there in the emergency room. Luckily, there were a few professionals who knew what they were doing, and here I am to greet 2013 with meager enthusiasm, but still willing to go another round. Because? Because I’m so plucky? No. That would not be it, but rather because that’s what we do. Right? We carry on, move forward, slug through the fetid muck. It’s about being part of the human race. We all have to do some slugging before we get out of here. Well, I’m doing some slugging at the moment, and that’s the way it has to be for now. It’s not really about being tough, it’s about can’t-stop-here-in-the-middle-of-all-this-shit-or-I’ll-sink. Then where would I be?

Twenty-thirteen, please don’t be the cruel taskmaster your hateful sibling was. Be the good sibling. Be that cheerful, playful, youngest in the family or the responsible oldest sibling. Cripes, I hope you’re not the middle child.

And so it is that I enter 2013 with more than a little trepidation, wondering what it holds in its impenetrable days and weeks.

And that was only January. I thought the worst was behind me, but it wasn’t. It was only beginning. Only a few days after I wrote that, I ended up back in the hospital for several more weeks, and I received one bad piece of news after the other from doctors. My recovery took months, and when I was almost recovered, Dad’s main caregiver informed us that she would be working less in 2013, so I went back to caring for Dad three or four days a week – seventy miles away. Then we lost Dad in September.

So… two horrible years in a row by anyone’s standards, and that brings us to 2014.

What a peaceful and wonderful year this was. By the time we got into January 2014, Dad had been gone almost four months, and I was beginning to put a lot of things into perspective. I didn’t know it then, but 2014 would be a healing year for me.

What do I know about years?

A year is twelve months, a way to measure the seasons and rhythms of life. We tend to look back and assess them, counting the good and the bad, measuring the joy and the grief. A year is a measurement for how we’re doing, where we’ve been, where we’re going, what we lost, how we handled it and what we learned.

When I look back at 2014, I see a time of restoration and gratitude. I spent 2014 shoring up my buttresses. It was time well spent. I know that in the scheme of life, last year was only a moment. It passed so quickly that it’s already a blur. I’ll never remember the details, only the overall mood of it: that feeling of security and contentment. And that’s good enough. I hope 2015 will be as kind, but I’m not counting on it. Anything could happen and probably will. Still, thanks for the memories, 2014. You are my favorite so far.