Saturday, December 31, 2016

new year's eve, 2016

It's the last day of 2016, y'all. Hard to believe we've made it another trip around the sun. A friend just asked me whether I was going out or staying in to celebrate, and I told him I was staying in - but not to celebrate. I just don't feel like it. It's not that I'm not glad on some level that this filled-with-tragedy year is coming to a close, because in many ways, that's true, but this morning I had a stark realization: 2016 is also the last calendar year when Clara was still here with her mom and dad. She was here for almost 25 days of 2016, which feels, in retrospect, like the blink of an eye, but SHE. WAS. HERE. Still full of joy and hope, still happy and silly and goofy and kind and smart and amazing. 2016 started off with her in it, and because it's ending without her, I just can't bring myself to toast to something new right now. I need one more day (at least) to remember a year when her parents carried everyday burdens like everyone else and not the profound sadness and heartache that they struggle to shoulder now.

No matter what happens this year (or any other year ahead), I will ALWAYS keep Clara's memory alive. I will ALWAYS treasure that precious girl. I will ALWAYS love and support my dear friends in whatever way I can. This year has taught me a lot, but what it really reminded me more than anything is that LOVE is the only thing worth investing yourself in, and if you see it in the actions of others, then you know the feelings are there to back it up. Just as faith requires deeds/evidence to demonstrate its authenticity, so, too, does love.

So tonight, I will watch the clock quietly wind down without fanfare or champagne. I will say goodbye to 2016, with both tears and thanksgiving, and I will turn the page to the next chapter and get on about the business of real love. To all my friends and loved ones: In good times and in bad, may you know this kind of love every day, all year long.

And Clara, sweet girl, you are missed and loved as much as ever - for always 

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