Christmas has come and gone, and I am inescapably aware of the approach of New Years Eve. And I dread it. I can't stop thinking about how we celebrated the end of 2011, saying that 2012 couldn't help but be better. We can be spectacularly wrong, can't we?
2011 started with me in the middle of a 6-month flare, included my car accident, then moved on to your lung cancer diagnosis. It was the roughest year we'd ever had. But things were looking up in December. You were much better, back to work, and beating the cancer that everybody said couldn't be beaten. The future looked good. And so did you - Taxol had cost you your hair, but you have a lovely head so that didn't bother anybody. The finances were straightening out. I had a job that I loved, we had Jethro, we had visits over the holidays from your family and Jen and Danica, and we were delighted to see the backside of 2011 go out the door.
The first fourteen days of 2012 met expectations. The on the 15th you passed out at work, went to Goshen Hospital, and were transferred to Methodist in Indy, and it all went downhill from there until your death on April 13th.
What we didn't know that New Years Eve, was how bad the radiation damage to your heart really was. I'm amazed that you did so well for so long. And, as I've said before, I'm glad we didn't know. We lived with enough of waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop, ever since your first heart surgery in 1987 when we found out that you had continuing radiation damage. It was nice to have some time of blissful ignorance.
So now I'm waiting for yet another new year, and I don't care at all. It just means that I'll write the wrong year on checks for a while. It measures another year without you. Next Tuesday night, I'll go on to bed like it's any other night. And maybe cry myself to sleep, remembering how we celebrated only two years ago. It seems like two centuries.
It you think of me at the stroke of midnight, come kiss me on the cheek. And remind me that each year passed is another year closer to the day I get to come home and join you.