Another Year Over

I have never gotten into the habit of writing regularly in my journal, but I do make it a point to take lots of photographs, print them out and label them, and then place them in a photo album.  Those albums come in handy when I’m trying to remember which year we went on a particular vacation, or who was present at one of our family gatherings.  All I have to do is leaf through my photo albums until I find the right photo, and voila!  I have my answer.

And as 2018 draws to a close, I find myself thinking back over the year and all that happened in it, both the good and the bad.  I don’t really need my photo albums to recall the moments that were most significant to me personally, as my mental pictures are still very clear.

IMG_4149I remember the first time I saw my grandson, just moments after his birth, and how perfect he looked and  how I fell in love with him so instantly and completely.  I remember the hot summer night we spent in the swimming pool at my son’s new house, enjoying a pre-4th of July family dinner and swim party.  I remember sharing my 60th birthday dinner with friends I have known for almost every one of those sixty years.  I remember answering the door on Halloween night and being greeted by a tiny little penguin who promptly took my hands and waddled his way into our living room with a huge smile on his face.

I also remember gently stroking our beloved dog, Lucy, as she took her last breath.  I remember hearing the sad news of the deaths of my sister-in-law’s mother and the mother of a good friend on the same weekend, and how bad I felt that the funerals were hundreds of miles away so that I couldn’t attend both services.  I remember how my heart broke when I heard the horrible and tragic news that a dear friend’s beautiful daughter died suddenly and unexpectedly.  2018 was not a year without tragedy and profound sorrow.

Some of my memories are rather bittersweet.  I remember the how scared I felt when my grandson had to be hospitalized for RSV when he was only ten months old.  But I’ll never forget the sight of my son-in-law singing to his sick little son during a particularly unpleasant procedure, because he knew how much the little guy likes music.  Love is expressed in so many ways, and truly is what gets us all through the hard times.

2018 will soon be history, and I know that eventually my memories of most of the year won’t be nearly so vivid.  (Good thing I have those photo albums.) But the changes and the events of the past year have definitely left their mark.  And all I can hope is that I am just a little bit wiser, a little bit stronger, and most of all, a little kinder than I was twelve short months ago.

Happy New Year, everyone!

87 thoughts on “Another Year Over

  1. a grandson will do that to you … open your heart right up to more love and sensitivity than you knew you could bear making your emotions so raw!

    Praying that you and yours have a better 2019 with less tragedy and more warmth 🙂

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  2. Beautifully written Ann. And yes, photos are precious that’s for sure reminding us of those special (and sometimes heartbreaking times). I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and peaceful year in 2019. xx

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  3. How quickly the days seem to pass now that we get older. I try so hard to treasure the small moments because I know the days just tumble by. I miss my grandson so very much and can’t wait until I am closer to him. I barely know him and this is so sad to me. But I know that someday it will all be as it should. Joy to you. xo

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  4. The sun is shining in all its golden glory this morning, this last day of 2018. About to rush out on errands, your post has reminded me that this day is sacred to remembering all that was in 2018. And so, I will slow down, and rest in the hours of the passing year, as memory after memory comes to bid farewell.

    Happy New Year, Ann, to you and to all those you carry in your big, warm heart.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words and for letting me know that this post spoke to you! Thanks also for all your encouragement and support in the past year. I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year!

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  5. Ann, a wonderful and touching post … your grandson is adorable and thank god he is okay – that must have been such a frightening time for you all. It is during these hardships you find the inner strength you never knew you had. Congratulations on your special birthday … and sorry to read about your losses during the year.

    Wishing you a New Year filled with magic and joy, laughter and happiness. x

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  6. Like you Anne 2018 was full of a number of challenges but not without an awful lot to be grateful for too. I suppose a good representation of life is!

    Wishing you the very best in 2019 !

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  7. Happy New Year, Ann. Your comment about how love expresses itself in many ways is something I think about a lot. This happens in good times and in bad times and often the smallest gestures are the ones that are the largest expressions. Looking forward to more in 2019.

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  8. How true that 2018 seems so fresh in our minds right now, but it will soon fade into history. I very much enjoyed your posts and look forward to your thoughts as 2019 progresses. Happy New Year to you and your family, Ann!

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  9. You experienced a lot of ups and downs in 2018, Ann. I know that my year was enhanced by the wisdom in your articles and the enjoyment of our regular correspondence.

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    • Thanks, Joe! And please know how much your posts which share your travel experiences have enriched my life….as they do everyone who is smart enough to read them. I wish you and your wife many more happy trips this year, and really look forward to reading about them!

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  10. Every year seems to leave another mark. I hope you and your family have a blessed and healthy New Year. I look forward to more stories. Hopefully they will reflect only positive things…:)

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  11. I felt very emotional reading this post Ann. 2018 has been a very important year in my life too with some great learnings and some amazing blessings. Some dreams that came true and some that I decided to give up on. Some friends whom I had to say good bye to and some new friends who walked into my life. Times when I have felt selfish and times when I have felt selfless. Some crazy emotions and some bittersweet memories like you mentioned. What an year..

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  12. The good and the bad… it seems the former can’t be had without the latter.
    Your grandson looks adorable in that cute penguin costume, Ann, what a sweet reminder of these holidays. So glad that all is well now with him.
    And I really should take a leaf out of your book and start printing all those photos, the digital era caused me to be somewhat lazy in that respect. Gone are the days where I brought my films away to be developed.
    Happy New Year!

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    • Yes, I remember waiting anxiously for my photos to come back after I had sent off my film to be developed! It is so much nicer to be able to see right away if they are any good. Honestly, the main reason I print my photos off is to be sure not to lose them. I have a camera card that is so old it doesn’t fit into anything, so whatever is on that is lost. Technology changes so quickly that I don’t quite trust it!
      Happy New Year, Sarah!!!

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