Like most people I am ready for 2016 to be over. This was the year that took my mom from us at the start of the year, then took my husbands mom at the end of the year. We also said a very sad goodbye to the Nixon family home on Oak Grove Avenue.
But a lot of great things also happened in 2016, so I will give credit to a year that did try to give a little back.
My family gathered for 3 beautiful weddings, my cousin Monique’s in Vermont, my niece Alaina’s in Iowa and my niece Erin’s in Houston.
My nephew Lance finished his chemo and our family gathered from all over the country to celebrate.
Ani Parish came bounding into our lives bringing fun and joy.
I started 2016 in Florida, spent Valentine’s Day in Daytona Beach, I chased a vortex, drove in the mountains through a snowstorm, took a train trip, saw Mount Rushmore, walked through Sturgis during the motorcycle rally, watched in awe as the sun set behind Devils Tower. We drank wine in Napa, rode cable cars up and down the hills of San Francisco. Travelled with my family to New England, saw Nubble Light House and visited Rhode Island for the first time. We did a pub crawl in Portland, and drank beer with my New England cousins Jason, Chris,Lisa and Hilary in San Diego. Celebrated 30 years of marriage to my best friend. My dear friend Deede came to San Antonio, I was able to visit my friend Andrew in Seattle. I met my cousin John Gordon, spent time with cousins I had not seen in years, got to see my nephew Jason play in Austin on Halloween, and finished the year in Los Angelas. All while working full time.
Okay 2016, you certainly had your bad moments, but I will give you credit there were some good times.
2017 please be kind, don’t steal our loved ones away, let’s make this a great year, where we cherish our families and friends and hold ourselves to a higher standard of compassion and kindness towards everyone.
Every Christmas Eve I go outside and search the sky for either The Star of Bethlehem or Santa Clause. “Either will do”, I always think as I scan the sky searching for these two beautiful images of hope that define Christmas.
I love the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving. It’s a day that my family gathers to cook, eat, play games and enjoy our time together. I love the hectic shopping, in hopes to find that perfect gift that will light up the faces of my loved ones.
I love lighting our advent candles, hearing my children singing, I find such joy in the cheesy Hallmark movies with the same plot but I still have to see the ending of. I love Christmas Day and the joy that surrounds it. Unwrapping presents, the laughter that fills my home throughout the day. I love New Years Eve and New Year’s Day, the fresh start a New Year promises and how we make resolutions in hopes of an even better upcoming year.
But the thing I love most about Christmas is the way our hearts get a little bigger during this time, there is a joy and hope in this season that I wish I could bottle up and open throughout the year, when we all return to our normal selves.
You may think reading this that I live some perfect life where all my holidays resemble scenes from Currier and Ives, actually that is far from the truth.
I worked almost every Christmas Day or Christmas Eve when my children were young, and the ones that I was not working my husband was at work out of town. We have spent holidays stranded in airports, sitting in emergency rooms, alone and surrounded by people that made me wish I was alone. Last year we spent our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the ICU with my mother following her stroke that ended her life shortly after New Years. This year my mother in law died on the same day my mom had her her stroke last year, 2 days before Christmas.
Still every year I search the skies for Santa Clause, who brings joy to children of every age and the beautiful star that symbolizes the birth of Christ, bringing hope for eternal life to all. Maybe one year I will look to the skies and be fortunate enough to see one of those beautiful images, but for now I know even if I don’t see them shining in the Texas sky, I will see them in the faces of all those filled with the joy of this magical season.