Saturday, December 31, 2011
New Year's Eve
Here's James in one of my favorite cell phone pics of him, a candid James in the bath shot, from near New Years last year (how I wish the photos on my phone were time-stamped).
I never liked New Year's Eve. The fireworks, the lack of purpose, the hollow resolutions always fell flat to me. Always advertised as the biggest party of the year, I long felt I'd been sold a bill of false goods. I spent too many New Year's Eves at home and sick, recovering from one operation or another, nursing jello and resentment for my able-bodied peers. When I grew older, I became more annoyed because now it seemed I'd missed out on the foundational precepts of the holiday. The ball, the kissing at midnight, the countdowns. These all rang hollow to me, celebrations without context.
What after all, is there to celebrate? The year changes, there's nothing novel to it at all, it's not even exact- otherwise we wouldn't need leap years. One more trip around the sun, one of several billion before and several billion to come. Yet lately days have taken on arbitrary meaning to me, the 16ths and the 29ths of the month suffering under the weight of all that has come before. Time passes faster now, sometimes I feel as though I went to sleep one day and woke up six months later. The time we had with James feels so full, and all that came after so brief in comparison, abbreviated by what its relative lack of importance.
Looking back on some of the entries from our time in the hospital and then at home before we lost James, it really wasn't that long at all. Less than four weeks passed between the time when we found out James was sick and when we held his funeral, but that time was filled with so much. So many doctors, plans, and news. So much research into new types of cancer, evolving diagnoses and treatment protocols. Spurts of adrenaline- we have to do this now- interspersed with immense grief. And then, after all of that compressed into one little ball, nothing. It seems like a flash between then and now. Time itself seems split into two segments, there is Before and there is After, with the timeline delineated by a quick stab of trauma.
Perhaps that's why I'm excited to leave this year behind. I'm eager to see 12 on the end of the date instead of 11, because there are so many horrible dates that end in 11 and none in 12, so many days I'd like to leave behind, though I know I never will. Last year we took James to a New Year's Eve party and left early, as James himself quickly decided that he would have little patience for for fireworks and champagne. And Master James had complete decision making authority over all matters relating to the schedule. We made it home shortly before the New Year and it passed with barely a notice, fireworks cracking in the distance, the dogs alarmed. James slept through it all, and so we slipped into 2011 with no suspicions. This year, I intend to welcome 2012 gladly, eager for a better year. Suffice to say, if the Mayans were right about the apocalypse I am going to be very annoyed. I don't have the patience for any more life-altering disasters this year. So I'm eager to say good bye to 2011 and 2012. I just wish that we had James to share it with.
Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for all of your support and your prayers this year, we needed every one of them.