“Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring happy bells, across the snow.
The year is going, let him go. Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
~Afred Lord Tennyson
It’s clear and frosty this morning. C is asleep in his bedroom, and the house is still. Silent.
In the darkness, I journey down the stairs and nudge open his door, knocking into skateboards and loose lacrosse balls. He groans, “It’s still dark, Mom. What are you doing?”
“Just checking on you. It’s what mommies do. Are you warm enough?” I whisper.
“Yes….” his words come out in one breath as he rolls over.
“Go back to sleep, bud. I love you,” I reply, and gently shut his door.
Back upstairs, I light my candles and prepare for the last day of 2015 following my familiar morning rituals. Candles. Journal. Quotes to think on.
I notice the cantaloupe-colored sunrise just beginning to peek through my open window. There’s frost on the roof next door, and the trees are bare, thin branches mimicking the overhead power lines across the street. The candles flicker around me.
This won’t be the first New Year’s Eve we’ve spent apart from our four-person family. Our plans carefully crafted to coincide with Lily’s trip home from college, altered when C crashed into a tree ten days ago, taking the impact with his head.
Grateful for his high-tech ski helmet. Grateful he walked away.
It’s been a rough journey for my boy since August 3, 2014, when he broke his leg on a race course at Mt. Hood, Oregon. Three days back into training this year, another setback.
I’m grateful he will recover. But I’m tired of this.
I’ve been in too many ERs and hospitals and exam rooms; I’ve read chapters and chapters in waiting areas and labs. I’ve asked occasionally for help, I’ve questioned and I’ve accepted. Mostly, I’ve kept it all inside.
I can “Fakebook” with the best of them.
I know how to selectively post, how to check in and let you know where we are. I gram and tweet and snap and I could tell you what a high school friend ate for breakfast (PG and J), who is on a romantic night away from the kids ( 🙂 ), and which motivated friends crawled out of bed in the dark for a frosty run. I see your smiles as you ski, the shared meals and new loves. I can almost see your life right there, your clues about 2015 shining through your status updates.
I see the pride, the hope, the joy and sometimes if you’re honest, a glimmer of sadness – all amidst those ordinary moments of living this journey.
Facebook proclaims it’s 2016 in Australia now, so the resolutions have begun. The lists, the fill-in-the-blanks, the wishes and dreams that maybe if we say them out loud, might just come true.
Instead, I pull out the box of memories I keep faithfully filling year after year, and open my journal from 2014.
Just curious, I think. What’s changed? How have I filled a year’s worth of living?
The cover proclaims, “yes to growing and reaching, yes to healing, yes to soulfulness, yes to joy, yes to vulnerability, yes to change, yes to beginnings.”
Yes, I think. I’ve said yes to all of that this year.
Scanning the pages, I remember how sick I was this time last year – down on the couch, coughing and achy and sneezy kind of sick. Today, I feel well.
Last year I was reflective, grateful, struggling with change and believing in possibilities for the year ahead. I dreamed of joy and understanding.
I was hopeful.
It’s an hour later, and not much has changed. The sun is peeking through, reminding me that blue skies will be here soon. I can sill see the melon colored hue melding into the fog; the frost still clings to the roof tiles, and this, here and now, is still my extraordinary life.
Tonight I’ll ring out the old, I’ll let go of 2015. I’ll ring in the true.
This year, I’ll remember who I wanted to be when I grow up. I’ll trust the journey that’s taking me there.