I said goodbye to my beautiful grand daughter today. She is leaving with her mom and dad for New York tomorrow where she will now live. She will not remember she was born in San Francisco, and that she visited Michigan and her grandparents for the first time. She may not remember she lived in New York City, but I hope she always knows she is loved by her parents and her grandparents and that when she leaves tomorrow morning, a bit of both sets of grandparents hearts will go with her. Funny how that petite little bundle of big blue eyes, and "Alfalfa" like hair, and squealing smiles could just steal our hearts away and make it so hard for her to leave us. I know my son would tell me to quit blubbering and that I can come see her when ever I want. I know the invitation is open but we both know it will be months before we see her again, and those will be months when she changes so much. Will that complete trust to every one that picked her up still be there? Will she still be as delighted with her tongue as she is now? Will she still kick her small legs and reach for anything dangled in front of her? Probably not. She will learn all kinds of new things at such a rapid rate it will be dizzying to her parents, and the next new thing will be just around the corner. And while the new technological advances mean we can see her do many things, its not the same.
So, that's part of the feeling of letting go of an old year that gave me my first grandchildren. I always feel a bit melancholy closing out an old year, so many things left undone and regrets and the feeling of time rushing too fast. But then the New Year is here and it is the start of a new page being turned, even if it seems its the same dirty snow of the last year I am looking at. Most times it isn't so much the start of a new year as the return to the comfortable and familiar after the over drive of Christmas and the march to New Year's Eve. Its that "routine" I thought I would always have, no matter how things changed. I would always take down the Christmas tree, pack away each ornament and take the time to look at each one and remember how and why they were there, something I was too busy to do when hanging them on the tree. Those were the routines that comforted me when we spent another quiet New Year's Eve, falling asleep long before midnight.
This year was different. We didn't have snow, even dirty snow. We looked out at mud and brown. The temps were mild for us this time of year but the very mildness meant rain instead of snow and mist instead of blue skies and brown and grays instead of white and sparkling. I'm not sure how to feel about it because this year feels so different in so many ways, so I guess the lack of snow is appropriate.
I have waffled between feeling this is a new beginning, really this year, and wondering how long the remnants of the old will be with me. Nothing stays the same and even though it seems my life has followed a pattern, that was predictable and non inspiring, it was my life. This past year has taught me that my life was never static and definitely not predictable. I had a friend who lost his house this year in the Alabama tornadoes. He and his family huddled in the basement while the winds blew the roof from his house and buckled the walls. After, there was shock at what had just happened to them and then great joy and relief. Finally was the realization their lives were changed, but they were alive and could rebuild or start again. And that's the lesson in all this. We can all start again. We don't wait until the New Year necessarily, we get the chance for new beginnings every morning we get up and take a breath. We get to say, thank you to our Creator and start every day fresh. I lost sight of that so many times this past year and it is the very thing I don't want to forget in this new year.
Thank you to all my family and friends who supported me and on whom I leaned. Travel safe and well my grand baby and be happy with all the love that surrounds you.
Happy New Year.....