It's time to say goodbye to 2011. And this year, it's a bit harder than usual to say so long to the old year.
It's not that it's been a good year...it's been difficult. But there were some things in 2011 that are now gone forever, and that makes it hard to crack open the bottle of ginger ale and toast to the new year.
In January, my mom passed away. Our relationship went from rocky to none, and we never got to say goodbye. She chose to not have me around at the end, and that remains incredibly painful almost a year later. But even with all of that, I am sad that she will not be on the planet to see the arrival of 2012. She did a lot of good for a lot of people in her lifetime, and it should have been longer. Knowing that 2011 was the last year she would see makes seeing it go even harder.
2011 also saw the passing of an uncle I had become close to after years of not seeing him, I am grateful for the chance I got to finally live close enough to feel that we knew each other, but sad that the time was cut short. He was great guy, with a dry but always ready sense of humor and a love for Hershey Chocolate bars and black licorice. Like my mom, I wish he was around to great the new year,
2011 was supposed to be the first full year my new husband and I would have together...a chance to learn about each other and build our marriage. Instead, he had to take a job out of state, while I remained in Florida to ready the house for renters and wait out the school year. The result was 6 long, stressful months apart. The coming together again was wonderful, but we are still recovering from each others absence and the unique stresses it caused for each of us.
And even the reunion was bittersweet, because it meant leaving behind my beloved home state of Florida, where I have dear friends, family and a lifetime of memories. The move to Texas meant no more late night suppers on the patio of Flashback with Polly and Karen, no more snorkeling trips with Jimmy and the rest of JAC, no more lunches with friends from work who had become such dear friends, no more driving past my high school every day on the way to work, no more running into old friends at the grocery store, the mall or a concert. Yes, change can be good, it's also difficult when it's not chosen.
So forgive me, 2012, if I don't greet you with open arms and a cheerful countdown. I need to hold on to every last minute of what will never be after 2011 fades away.