At the dawn of a new year

By | Posted January 1, 2014

Posted in resolutions | 5 Comments »

I was talking to Paul the other day, and we both commented just how much 2013 sucked.  And really, it did.  My husband went back to mornings, Squirt got screwed over by the Marines, I lost my favorite uncle to cancer, close friends have had to deal with heartbreaking news and losses, another kid went to school, projects are never ending, weekends aren’t fun but instead filled with school work.  Overall, 2013 has been hard and at times miserable.  Just ask my husband.

Last year, I chose “hope” as my word for the year.  Right this second, life seems kind of hopeless for a friend, but I don’t think I’ve ever chosen a more appropriate word.

A little over a week ago, I received word that a friend of mine lost her son.  Christmas was six days away, and he had two very young children.  I have never wanted a text to be wrong more in my life.  But I spoke to her a few minutes later, and it was very fucking real.  Still real.  This woman is a wonderful mom and mimi, she posts about her grandchildren all. the. time.  The pride she has for her boys always shines through.  And now she is wondering what the hell happened.  But there she is moving along taking care of her grandkids and the rest of her family.  She doesn’t have a choice really.  The sad reality is that life moves on for everyone left behind when someone dies.  The days will probably get worse for her before she sees any light.  But I do hope that she sees light; in her grandchildren, her husband and other son and his family.  There is much to still be happy for in life despite all the loss we see in the world.  There is hope, that I know.

When I chose hope for my word last year, a friend’s son had just been diagnosed with Duchenne MD.  Look it up, and thank God you don’t have that diagnosis for your son.  Her son is three weeks older than Snax.  The news was hard to hear, and it’s frustrating waiting for news on a cure.  And that’s just me, the friend.  I can’t imagine how hard it is for my friend.  But again, there’s hope, the outpouring of love from their friends, the fundraisers, the new baby and the constant prayers until there is a cure.  All of that is hope.

Losing my uncle was really hard for my immediate family, (and I know others in my extended family).  My father and he talked daily, several times.  I can’t imagine how many times he has started to call him.  My brother and uncle were extremely close as well.   It’s sad and it’s a hard time to lose someone.  I hear my daughter praying for him daily.  And that brings me hope.  To hear that tiny voice utter prayers can melt any heart and know all is not lost.

During the month of November, really the only month we had to band together and pray for my uncle, I had two cousins asking what prayers to pray and what saint we needed to be talking to for my uncle.  And when I suggested an extended family rosary, I was so proud when people texted letting me know they actually took my idea to heart.  My sweet cousin sat on the phone with us praying aloud listening to the kids recite that beautiful prayer.  That is hope.

When Paul and I were talking, we weren’t trying to sound like whiners, insensitive people especially in light of what others have dealt with this year and very recently.  We both had hard years, knowing that people we love had it worse made it harder.  When I spoke with my friend the other day, she told me her husband wanted to know why she contacted me while he was making calls to family about the death.  She told him she just knew she could call me and tell me about it.  And that at the least she knew I would start praying immediately.  She knew the faith of our family would help.  Her words humbled me.  Everyone knows I love to complain, but she knew that despite my complaints I would pray nonstop.  And so will my kids.  So I like to think that maybe I gave a little hope to her.  And that I can continue to do that in these rough days ahead.

I look ahead to this new year, wishing away the pain for my friends, yet knowing that I can’t take or pray away their pain.  I can only offer love, faith and hope- the theological virtues.  Read about them here in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  And for next year while I am resolving to learn patience (that elusive virtue for me), I think it just might come easier to me if I focus on these three most important virtues.  If I have faith, I have hope and if I have both of those, I love more freely.  And really, love is the best gift I can give my family and friends.

I haven’t changed my mind, 2013 sucked, all my words can’t change that.  But there was joy, and I’m thankful for it each day.  All I have to do is look around my house…a husband who loves me, five children who love me and know their faith, parents who are always there for me and friends who I can count on always.  That’s a lot to be grateful for, I think!

Here’s to 2014, a year filled with a lot of family, a lot of reading, a lot of hugs and kisses, a lot of travel and those three virtues~faith, hope and love.

And maybe, a better year for my football team!  Hope, right?!

Comments on At the dawn of a new year

  1. From Dad:

    Great Blog – especially the part on David – it has really been hard not to have
    him around – love what my little girl does with her prayers. Love Dad

  2. From Jilly:

    Im so sorry about your uncle! And so unbearably sad for Denise, too. 🙁

    • From Nicole:

      Thanks! It really sucks!

      This news with Denise has just hit all of us. I still can’t believe it, and I don’t know how to help.

  3. From Denise:

    Nicole-You have helped me in so many ways in trying to understand & deal with David’s death. You have been there for me to call, text & coming all the way to The Woodlands to talk & bring food. Then taking the boys & I to the Dino Exhibit & Hermann Park this past Tuesday, they loved it. I am so thankful to have you as a friend.

    • From Nicole:

      Oh Denise, you are the sweetest! Seriously, here I am wondering how to help you, and you make me feel good. It’s who you are, and I’m thankful for your friendship. Just know, I am here any time. Day or night to text or call to cry, vent or just normal talk. Or to take those grandbabies off your hands for a day! And always in prayer, I am here.

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