Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope that the New Year is finding you all well. 2008 has been an interesting and difficult year for Red and I. His illness has had him in constant pain, and my illness has had me completely confused about myself. But that is not really what I want to focus on right now.

New Year's is a bittersweet time for me. There is all the joy and freshness of a New Year starting and the relief of putting a difficult year behind me. But there are also memories of New Years past. One in particular. I lost my stepfather on New Year's day several years ago. He actually died on January 2nd, but had an aortic dissection on the evening of the 1st. My mother rushed him to the local hospital where we had to wait for a team of heart surgeons to be assembled. Staffing was low because of the holiday, but we were told that because of the specialists needed, we would have had to wait for them all to come together anyway.

He survived the surgery, but because he'd died on the table a couple of times and had to be revived, his brain swelled and there was nothing more that we could do.

Every New Year's day since, my memories of that time come back just like it happened yesterday. But the thing is, his death was not as sad as it could have been. His death was what caused his family to learn of a dangerous genetic illness that several of them have. His brother was saved the same month after he learned that his own aorta was at the crisis point. One of the doctor's told him that he could have died the same week as his brother. His sister, who was pregnant at the time, also learned that her aorta was in trouble, and this knowledge not only saved her, but enabled her to safely deliver her beautiful daughter.

If my stepfather hadn't died, his brother might have left his two small children fatherless, and his sister might have died in childbirth.

I guess I tell this story not only to remember him on this anniversary, but also to show that endings, even painful tragic ones, are still new beginnings. Sometimes in the midst of pain that is difficult to see.

I hope that all of your new beginnings bring happiness and health to you this new year. My best to you all.


Anonymous said...

Rose, I think remembering 'the circle of life' is helpful. It helps me. My pain from the loss of loved ones has faded, but never gone completely away. I am glad I remember. I hope 2009 brings you and Red peace and happiness. Sara

Constance said...

I think that having the ability to see the 'bright side' in even the most terrible circumstances is a wonderful gift. I'm very sorry you lost your step-father, and that his loss continues to cause pain, but I compliment you on the fact that you are able to see that his death was not for naught.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, wonderful 2009.