2015 – to make a beginning



{Image is a graphic. On a blue and yellow background, text reads, “And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” The words are from my favorite poem in all the world, T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding, the fourth of the Four Quartets.}

I came here to write a wrap-up of 2015 as it winds to a close. To create some kind of tribute to the year that we leave behind: perhaps a mix of nostalgia for what was and a strong desire to kick it in the ass and start anew.

I tried going through the news reels to create a summary of the events that shaped the year. I couldn’t. It was simply too much. Too much death, too much pain, too much hurt and anger and hate. Too much carnage, too much loss, too much abject desperation.

I’ve realized this year more than ever that for me there is no longer even the slightest separation between the personal and the political, if ever there was. That the two are inextricably intertwined. And that the coveted middle ground is mostly an illusion. Because so often what must be compromised to reach it is dignity, humanity, safety. Rights. Basic rights. To put that another way, I’ve begun to understand, on a visceral level, what it means as an American to defend the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness … not for the privileged few, but for all.

So I find myself incapable of recapping the events that we witnessed en masse this year without getting intensely, virulently political. Without curling a fist to the sky in impotent rage born of twelve long, ugly months in which humanity was so often met with hate, fear with violence, and desperation with indignation.

That’s not the recap that I want to write.

You know where I stand. You know what I believe. You know who I am. There is no greater need to proclaim it from the rooftops today than any other day. No benefit in rehashing my ‘platform,’ as it were.

This was a year when, for the first time in my life, I bore intimate witness to overwhelming loss. My sweet, beautiful Grandma in January. Our dear, beloved Noelle in June.

2015 will always be the year of their departure. So too, it will be the year that we held them for the last time, heard them laugh, and wrapped ourselves in the comfort of their physical presence. There’s beauty in that. In the year in which they still were, even if it was also the year in which we had to relearn how to breathe in a world in which they weren’t.*

It was a year in which my little family learned what it really means to be there for and with those we love. It was the year in which we coined the phrase, “Love shows up,” and lived it. Every. Single. Day.

It was the year we learned to be still. To listen. To share the weight of unbearable, unfixable pain. To ask for help and, more importantly, to give it when we knew that those who needed it weren’t capable of asking.

It was a year in which disingenuous relationships withered under the harsh light of grief and need and pain and raw, vulnerable humanity. It was a year in which we let them go. In which we weeded our garden.

It was a year in which we grew closer to each other. In which my girls got to know their Papa in a whole different way and  in which my husband became, in every sense of the word, my father’s son.

It was a year in which we learned so very much about living – and dying – with grace and humor and love. It was a year in which learned not just that to love is to trust but that to be trusted completely is to be loved perfectly. And that there is no greater honor nor responsibility than being the one who holds that trust.

It was a year in which we lost and gained so much, all at the same time.

I came here to write a wrap-up of 2015 as it winds to a close. To create some kind of tribute to the year that we leave behind: perhaps a mix of nostalgia for what was and a strong desire to kick it in the ass and start anew.

*Thank you for this perspective, Jim. Seeing this invaluable gift is, well an invaluable gift. 

2 thoughts on “2015 – to make a beginning

  1. Jim’s perspective is, indeed an invaluable, albeit, a heart-wrenching gift.
    I wish you all as happy a 2016, as possible.

    Love you,

  2. 2015 was damn hard. I cannot think of another way to describe it. Among all the downs one thing happened that I will never forget. I hadn’t seen my dad in three years. (for several life reasons… we live too far apart!) I finally got to see him this month for a week. While saying goodbye my dad hugged my husband and cried, confessing he felt like the son he’d never had. My husband cried, because my dad felt like the father he missed out on. (his own passed away when he was 3). It was the most magical thing that I witnessed all year. #loveshowsup and #sohebecameone came to mind. Here is to 2016 being a kinder year not only to us… but to all humanity!

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