Hubby and I have very different feelings about seeing in this particular New Year. I have overheard him telling others more than once: “I am so glad 2008 is over! It was a stinking year.” (Except he used a stronger word than ‘stinking’. )
I, on the other hand, didn’t want it to end. Seeing in a New Year knowing that Jenna will not be with us again this side of heaven has been more difficult than I had anticipated.
Last New Year’s Eve, Jenna was at my side as we lay on our backs on our driveway, looking at the stars and digging into a bag of Barbeque Wavy Lays. She gawked at the fireworks her brothers set off from a respectful distance. When we went on our impromptu almost-midnight bike ride /stroll around the block, Jenna’s little ‘pink bike’ made its familiar plastic-rolling-on-tarmac sound as she kept up with us. She was sooooooooo cute on that bike.
I have had some weepy moments today. Another milestone is behind me, and my first calender year without Jenna here has begun.
I think God knew I would have a difficult time of it, because he ensured that we had people around us most of the time, even though we hadn’t planned it that way. I cannot mope too much if I am surrounded by friends!
As I got ready to go out with hubby and some friends this evening, I picked out my clothes with Jenna in mind. I wanted to include her in this first day of 2009 somehow, and I decided to make every item I wore something that had a Jenna connection. Even down to my underwear, but we won’t go there! 🙂
I wondered (not for the first time) if hubby is secretly amused by my sentimental way of celebrating all things Jenna. I have learned that love is something that demands expression though and I choose to express my love for Jenna in all these little, unseen ways.
We celebrated her in a more obvious way for Christmas: Hubby lavished presents on a needy boy at work, while I made angel/fairie ornaments for our christmas tree. I should post a picture, they are really cute. (Rach – I couldn’t find an ornament that epitomised Hannah to me, but these do. I’ll send you one for next years’ Hannah tree.)
2008 in a nutshell:
The worst part: The evening of February 17th. Hands down.
The best part: Wow. There’s a lot. The way friends and family ministered to us in the weeks after February 17. Making new friends and deepening old friendships. My new job and the wonderful students I am priviledged to teach.
What I learned: God’s grace is enough. Really. There is NOTHING you can go through where God’s grace can’t follow. I know now, that “surely goodness and mercy shall chase me down all the days of my life”.
How I have changed: Somehow, strangely, this has been a year of great healing for me. Who would have known?? I have never felt more secure in who I am as a person than I do now. I feel stronger. Perhaps it has something to do with (as one of my cyber friends commented on a previous post) the fact that life gave us a gut-wrenching punch and we survived! Anyhow, I am in a good place and I can praise God that it truly is “well with my soul”.
Song of the year: Blessed be your name:
“…though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your name…
You give and take away, you give and take away
My heart will choose to say…blessed be your name…”
Surprises in 2008: What sweet young men my boys are turning into. That my kids were content with less presents this year. That my students love me so much. That one of my blog articles actually got published. That teaching history has been so much fun. That I managed to perform a jazzy acapella song with a group of friends at our christmas talent show without throwing up. OK – I exaggerate, but seriously, it was fun, and I had NO nerves!
Hopes for 2009: Just to make it through. To learn how to procrastinate less and use my time better (a biggie…sigh). Ultimately: to stay hungry for more of God.