A friend of mine said something like he hoped 2019 was a better year, and I responded that 2018 wasn’t that bad of a year for me. I know some folks were glad to see it in the rearview mirror, but 2018 had some special personal memories for me. I am grateful for them.
We as a family had a special trip with mamma early in the year. She had gone through an awful bout with chemo and decided not to continue that treatment, which would have killed her long before the cancer would have. It was the right choice for her. She was still weak and lacking in appetite and energy when we took the trip, but we all tried to pace ourselves so she could enjoy the time without getting too tired out. My little sister had come up with the idea for the trip, and it was a good one. I have no regrets.
I am grateful to have both of my parents for another year. Mamma’s cancer is still there, at least what the doctor could not eradicate in surgery, and it is growing, but it is not growing fast, so I am hopeful for more time and more special memories. Daddy will celebrate his 90th birthday this year in April, and I am grateful for each year I still have with him as well. My mother has said that as long as God is still using them, He will keep them alive, and He is. They both are still actively ministering to others through encouraging cards, letters, phone calls and visits. They are still leading out in worship services. There are so many ways God is still using them.
I am grateful for the times we had as a family last year. Each one was precious. Sometimes the entire family was there. Other times it was just Oso and me showing up at the folks’ house. Usually they knew we were coming, but one weekend we just showed up, and it was a very relaxed time, another special memory.
I am also grateful for Oso in my life. He came into my world in June of 2018, and I thank God every day for him. He needed a new home, and I needed a new “furry friend.” My Boca Burger had died in September of 2017 and Ebony in February of 2018. It was a very lonely feeling having no dogs in my house for the first time in nearly 30 years. Oso (“bear”), a black lab, chow, Shar Pei (not so much of the latter in his looks), is a big black furry dog with a curly tail and colored tongue. He is smart and inquisitive and just pretty awesome. He is about 3 years old, so he has a lot of puppy still in him, which of course is adorable. He and I have bonded, and I can’t imagine life without him now.
So it was a good year in many respects, and I am grateful for the special and spectacular moments as well as the ordinary ones that I try not to take for granted, those moments when Mt. Blanca still takes my breath away or I enjoy a cheese enchilada dinner at my favorite restaurant or I just sit on the couch with a big black dog in my lap.
I don’t know what this year will bring, sorrow or joy, and probably both. I will borrow from neither but take them as they come.
As Alison Krauss wrote in her song, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”:
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand