Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gut Check Kind Of Year

To my son Tommy,

It has been a tough year, one of those gut check type years. It has been one of those years that every day that passes, every step you take as you trod along the path of life, seems to bring an unending supply of struggle and weight for our weary bodies and souls. Unfortunately, I know that many of the happenings this year are purely foreshadowing for the next, a series unresolved foreboding cliffhangers. We had to take your Grandmom Roro to the ER today for Pete's sake. 2015 holds little promise of joyful resolution.

I was a bit selfish this year. I told you all about us and largely avoided or ignored the happenings in the greater world. I had trouble enough dealing with the loss of family and the failing health of others in our family. Thus, I didn't write to you about police shootings and riots and war and justice and race and religion and persecution and crime and other such things that are such important questions in this world. The world had a gut check type of year, too. I say that I didn't spend much time writing about these events in our times in order to shield you from the burden, but in fact I just couldn't tackle such issues when my concern and compassion remained focused on ours and ours alone. I didn't want to add a dresser and a piano on top of the couch we were already carrying.

So how do you take a year, filled with such hardships both personal and worldly, and resolve to carry on in the new year, knowing very well that there is more of the same to come? Well you do it just like we are bringing in the new year right now. Surrounded by family and friends and love. You look back not on the losses themselves, but how love helped you overcome. You look back not on the successes themselves, but how love helped you achieve. You look for those small seemingly insignificant gestures, a hug, a cuddle, a smile, a kind word, all of which are pure simple moments of love. You salvage all these reflections of love from the past year, you put them deep inside your heart as weapons to arm you for the upcoming year, you grab a glass of champagne (or whatever your choice for a cup of kindness), toast the years gone by, grab your loved ones, give them a great big hug and kiss, join hands with the one next to you in a sign of unity, and sing at the top of your lungs that battle cry that readies you for the fight ahead, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot..."

Sincerely with love from your dad,

Happy New Year!

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