As I approach the end of this year, I hug my family a little closer.

2010 was the first year of my life that I didn’t see, speak or hear from my Dad. The void is one that leaves me, I am not afraid to admit, a little petrified of living. I’ve talked about the pendulum, the swing between happiness and sadness, and how I am afraid of the swing. This week solidified my anxiety of the up and down motions of life. In one week, I learned that my aunt passed, and days later, my fifty year old cousin succumbed to gastric cancer. Yesterday, we learned of a firefighter that died of a brain bleed, only four days after he was diagnosed with leukemia. The day he passed on he was only thirty-five.

It’s too much to absorb sometimes, this constant reminder that living is full of death. The awareness of this doesn’t scare me; it propels me to focus on the moments when I’m surrounded by the embrace of joy. I want to honor the happiness when it comes and not question it.

What I hope for, not only next year, but every day, is that I have the opportunity to love the ones that are dear to me. I hope to see my daughter grow up. I hope to grow old with my husband. I hope to have coffee dates with my sister. I hope to hug my mom. I hope to be with friends that care about me as much as I care about them. I hope to run. I hope to live fully. I hope to read. I hope to write. I hope to celebrate. I hope to do all that this life can offer, the good and the bad, because as much as I hate the swing, I realize that it is my sensitivity and awareness of it that will commit me to living a more full life.

What I hope for doesn’t change because the year turns into different numbers. It’s always there.

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Happy everyday to you and yours. My hope for all of you is to live your life as fully as you can. Not just next year, but everyday for every year that is to come.

Thanks for honoring this space and my words, by your reading and writing.

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