Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | December 30, 2010

Last Year’s New Year

I think most “adults”, at least the ones I know, prefer a quiet evening at home for New Year’s Eve, with or without the company of loved ones. When I was a child, my family was often driving home from grandparents’ houses, heading north on I-95 or the Mass Pike on New Year’s Eve, and our father apparently instilled in me a wariness of this holiday. It can be so dangerous and silly out there in the world. Amateur night for drinking – never been a fan of drunkenness and the poor decisions that go along with it. If I wanted to go out, that wouldn’t stop me…but I don’t. Not this year.
As darkness fell on December 31st a new, deep, abiding sadness descended also. This aside from that which is always here now, constant and considerable. Jeff and I never celebrated this holiday, but the year flipping over without him was suddenly deeply painful. Made it feel like he is even farther away than usual. The holidays are difficult for so many people dealing with illness, death, and sad anniversaries. Both our families have these in abundance, as do so many others. When asked by a hospice nurse, Jeff once said that he expected he would die at Christmastime, like everyone else in the family.
Expecting to be at home alone on New Year’s Eve, I bought supplies to make a special dinner for one: a salmon steak to bake with ginger, soy & wilted spinach, and green beans. These are especially appropriate as Jeff didn’t care for either salmon or green beans, and they are two of my favorites. Even planned on buying myself some flowers. (I’m very frugal, probably to a fault, but think that the small investment in flowers is paid off every time you notice them.)
Drank half a bottle of prosecco, a Christmas gift, in Jeff’s favorite wine glass: a very thin, delicate, expensive stemless bowl. We had four, and are down to one, which I rarely use because it feels fragile as an eggshell and barely heavy enough to be affected by gravity. I am sure I broke the other three myself. Sorry, honey.
Walked the dog down the railroad tracks and said goodnight to a full moon circled with ice crystals. Went to bed early and fell asleep immediately. Anna poked her head in at some point to say “happy new year, mama”. Happy new year to you, my love.   Woke to a lovely soft snowfall and made breakfast for three sleepy, grateful 18-year-olds: Snell’s fried redskin potatoes, vegan blueberry struesel muffins and a kiwi-pineapple-citrus salad. Oranges and grapefruits fresh from Florida-thanks Mom. Plus lots of French roast coffee for me.
Darkness falls now on January 1, 2010.
Time for the rest of that prosecco.
© Carolyn Stephens on Friday, January 1, 2010

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