Goodbye December Hello January

Goodbye December Hello January

Maybe it’s just me becoming a grumpy old man.  Maybe it’s because I always have so many things going on in life – all at the same time.  Sometimes I do not finish all the things I start.

Whatever the reason or rationale – I do not make New Year’s Resolutions any more.  I also do not stay up on the last day of December to ‘welcome in the New Year.’  A few years ago, I fell asleep before midnight and guess what?  The New Year came in just fine without me ushering it in with a toast, fireworks, or a kiss.  Although the 7am kiss from my wife, New Year’s morning was both toasty and full of fireworks; …but I digress.

What I’m saying is that the changing of the year has not been “a thing” for me.  That is until this year.

This year, I was happy to say goodbye December, hello January!

December was hard.

Within my local community, there were numerous deaths this year.  Not least among them was the passing of a very special cousin of mine just before Christmas.  The news of her death took my breath away.  She was a part of some of my earliest memories.  When I was little my grandma, would travel from our home on the coast to visit her sister who lived in the middle of the state.

Growing up as an only child, I looked forward to these trips with grandma to see my cousins.  My cousin was always there.  We played, fed the hogs and cows.  Most of all, I remember sitting on my Aunts front porch going through baskets of string beans and peas.  Lots and lots baskets of them!  We lost contact as we grew but later reconnected at the University right down the road from the farm.  While there, we shared a common worship experience, seeing each other every Sunday and Wednesday night at church services and sometimes on weekend when I would venture out to the country.

To say I miss my cousin is such an understatement.  There is something precious about family.  Sharing common ancestors creates a bond that adds comfort and meaning to life. For us the common ancestors were my 2x great grandparents.  They were her great grands.  That made her my second cousin once removed.

Our last visit was at my daughter’s wedding four years ago.  Which brings me to the other end of the emotional spectrum.

Right after Thanksgiving, my daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  Which by the way was about six weeks earlier than anybody expected.  Therefore, the month of December included my first ever trips to the NICU of our local hospital.  My daughters’ prayer had been that the baby could come home in time for Christmas.  He was discharged on Christmas Eve, the same day my cousin was buried.

So, I am extremely sadden by the loss of my cousin, and at the same time, absolutely elated at the arrival of my grandson.

New Year’s Eve I sat editing the family tree.  A new death date entered.  A new birth record added.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job 1:20-21

 

 

 

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