The New Year holiday has never held special importance to me. Its significance seemed merely to be a particular date when a four-digit number increased by one; remembering to write the new year’s digit on checks or correspondence would finally sink in, through repetition, by the end of the first month.
Resolutions seemed silly to me. If I needed to make a change in my life, I would make that change at the time of realization, not wait for a particular calendar day.
There was, however, and I admit this without contradiction, a short time when my late husband and I would drink wine and nibble on hors d’oeuvres several New Year’s Eves. With the children sleeping soundly in bed, we would sit together and flip through the soon-to-be-retired calendar, reminiscing all the events in ours and our children’s lives through scribbled appointments, hockey, soccer, lacrosse games and practices and more. When our reminiscing was complete, we opened the envelope which had been stapled to the month of December of the outgoing calendar. The envelope was labeled, “Do Not Open Until December 31, XXXX (the outgoing year.)
Inside the envelope was a sheet of notebook paper upon which we had written our predictions and goals for the upcoming year (the year that just passed.) More often than not, our predictions and goals caused great laughter as we realized we had forgotten many of the goals which we had set for ourselves and our predictions were always, hysterically wrong.
After all the reminiscing and laughter, it was time to fill out another notebook sheet with our new goals and predictions for the upcoming year, label it and staple it onto December’s page of the new calendar.
Those traditions ended the year my husband died. I still have the calendar of our last year together though. I do not know why. I simply want to save it.
This year, the clock struck Time’s final midnight for me when I learned that my son was dying from pancreatic cancer. Time stopped. Goals, predictions, wants, desires, hopes and dreams fell to a place of great unimportance. I cried, I grieved, I will miss him for the remainder of my life on this plane and hurt for the joys of life which were stolen from him, especially the joys of raising his two young children.
In my grief, I concluded that “Time” is an illusion restricted to our plane of existence and understanding. I live in moments now. I live for purpose and found new motivation by accepting my personal obligation to live life with meaning, no matter how small and insignificant I may think my actions are. It is akin to the “butterfly effect.” I do matter. My actions matter. It is not important that I am ever made aware of how I may have changed someone’s life through a simple act of kindness or warm smile. What is important is that I “did it.”
Grief has dug deep into my heart and soul, uncovering a deeper understanding of life. We are each here for a reason, we are in this together.
My final “resolution” on that fateful day of learning my son would soon die, was to “live” each and every day with purpose for others, no matter how limited my ability may be, there is always a way, there is always something I can give.