As I took down the Christmas tree, I wept bittersweet tears that Dickens speaks of “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. As I dismantled decorations I thought over the events of the past year and reminded myself that I must get them down on paper for the promised Christmas letter. I have been telling friends and family for weeks that I would blog, yet every time I mentally pre-wrote, the tears would come. Who knew memories could be so powerful?
Usually Christmas letters are full of the family’s accomplishments of the past year. I wrote a list in my journal month by month and it didn’t feel right. I don’t remember things by lists and accomplishments. My memories are built on time spend together, conversations held, games played together and waiting in hospitals hoping and praying. Waking up morning after morning and doing the same thing over and over again fills in the gaps of the great events and is the cement holding it all together. No one wants to hear about the boring days of sameness, but without them, I would lose my sanity.
Lat winter dumped snow and provided ski days. I am amazed at how quickly my kids took to the slopes. Gregory and Damian conquered on snowboards while Ania, Rafal and Hunter skied. We were joined by friends and family for wonderful winter memories. My brother Robert came to visit on ski day and gave lessons to the beginners. Soon everyone was skiing confidently. Kelley Richman joined me for a day of cross country skiing and we laughed and fell in the snow like characters in an old Danny Kaye comedy.
As I packed away 2010 Christmas decorations, I thought of swim days with my family and friends, pregnant Audrey bobbing around the pool with husband Adam, pool challenges with kids and Tracey, Tash, Selena and Adam. I think of Gregory turning his kayak in the pool with such ease and grace and my attempts to man the thing with teenage boys harassing me. Great times!
The fall brought anxious moments in the hospital with Audrey in pre-term labor. Sitting with her and Adam solving brain teasers and learning about the latest techno gadget made the time sweeter. The great faith of this young couple built mine. The prayers sailed up from South Carolina to here were heard and answered. The joy of the twins being born healthy and strong still fills my heart with thankfulness and wonder. Welcome Sam and Theo!
The autumn also brought happy news through Amerey’s engagement to Seth Campbell on 10.10.10.. Jerry and I had given our blessing when Seth took us to lunch. He is such a man of God with an amazing understanding of the Word and a passion to minister to the youth. I see a bright future for these two.
We finished up the year with friends and family celebrating Christmas with food, gifts, music and our traditional jigsaw puzzle.
This new year brings change and a new chapter in our lives. Gregory had knee surgery this Friday to mend a torn ACL. No snowboarding for him this year. Jerry accepted a job in Huntington, WV and starts this January. I am trusting that God has great things in store for my family and I hold the memories of this past year closer knowing that I will have to leave friends and family.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..”