I am glad to see 2008 come to a close. There was hurt, sadness, disappointment and loss woven through too many of its days to call it a good year.
And yet good did occur. Junior survived five years of wartime and too many tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that we are extremely grateful. I am back at work in the church in a place that I love, and Ken and I both have a lot to offer that parish, as indeed they have much to offer us. I am getting my feet back under me with increasing sureness. I am closing the year exercising maternal instincts and love while fostering the puppies, and there is deep joy in that. Down in my bones there is hope that fuels optimism, and with that comes a "can do" liveliness that I haven't felt for a very long time.
This week I buried two souls. One had lived a relatively long and contented life, and though her later years were marred by alzheimer's, her spirit transcended the disease that imprisoned her mind and body. The other was 30 years old, a young and vital life robbed by cancer. The farewells to each of these women were sad and celebratory, and as tributes often go, those given were testimonies to the best that each of these women had to offer. It is at times like this that I take stock of my deficits and fine tune my desires to do better, be better as a person, priest, friend... When my day comes I want my life to have mattered.
I continue to learn about faith, love, friendship, marriage and family, and though it isn't always evident, I believe that such learning informs changes in outlook and even, yes, behavior! Such changes can come slowly, and the learning sometimes needs repeating, but it comes. That is the way it is. That is life. And here's to it.
Happy New Year. Happy Life!