December 31

I really hope no one expects me to say the word “happy” today.

I hesitate to say that 2019 can’t be worse, given that I was just thinking we’d finished out the 2018 without any more death or serious harm coming to anyone in my social circle and then heard this morning that a childhood friend (we haven’t kept in touch well but I worry about them) got in a bad car wreck. So I won’t jinx myself when I can easily brainstorm 20 ways things could currently be worse for me, even if most of those events are only worse when added on top of the crumbling foundation that is widowhood.

New Year’s Eve used to be my favorite holiday. I don’t like crowds and couldn’t care less about the ball dropping. I love making fun of how silly it is that we act like a calendar date changes anything (“Happy arbitrary Gregorian boundary condition,” to quote Eric Meyer). But I also love something about the pause for evaluation and reflection. I often used to watch the Twilight Zone marathon on TV, drink root beer floats, and write myself a letter, to seal and reopen a year later, about what had been and what I wished would come. Not goals or resolutions, but hopes.

I’m not sure if I can do that anymore. I pretty much say all the time what my only hopes are – that is, survive until anything seems less bleak. I’m emotionally incapable of imagining I can actually handle this grief for another year.

Today is a day for VOY 11:59, appreciating that the accuracy of a legacy is irrelevant, and appreciating the rare moments when I’m able to look forward with anything but exhaustion, when my cookies do taste like something.