Boy, it seems like only yesterday that it was 2006. That was a good year.
I remember exactly what I was doing this time last year. It's not that my brain works like that. It doesn't, but I think that's part of the reason why I take pictures. It's so I have a way to remember stuff that I will never remember on my own.
To be fair, the big events aren't all that difficult to keep a handle on. I need help with the smaller details. Like the happy (and maybe just a little smirky) smile on a friend's face.
Sometimes a picture can remind me of that.
It was a happy time, but my life shifted gears pretty quickly at the beginning of the year.
In looking back, I remember also how scared I was during that first week of 2006. That was the week of my mother's heart surgery. She's doing well now. It's been a year without "major" complications.
During long hours in the hospital waiting room, I remember trying to be strong in the face of possibilities I wasn't ready for. I remember saying prayers in every quiet moment. I remember taking pictures with my cell phone. It felt like I should do what I do because taking pictures is a big part of who I am. It also felt like it might seem strange for me not to take pictures if I could.
I had to cling to what's normal for me and that was going to help make everything okay.
I'm glad I took the pictures. I'm not sure how I would have felt if things had not worked out well.
Our year ended with my household together for the holidays. Dellis and I have seen our kids more this year than in the past several years. It felt really great to have the youngest home for the holidays. Away at school, she's missed the last couple of family gatherings.
No soap opera drama in our house. We laughed and enjoyed being together and shucks, why does it seem like that's so rare in the world?
It might just be in my perception, but it does seem most households have parents mad at the kids or kids mad at their parents. Then again, I think maybe we're lucky to have just survived past that stage.
Life seems to get better for me every year. Not perfect and not financially successful. Just better in the ways that matter to me. I smile, I laugh, I enjoy the company of my friends and family. There are things I want that I need to work towards. There are things I want that I might never have.
On this first day of the year, I have enough holiday debt to make me look forward to a big story and hopefully some overtime, but I'm balanced enough that I don't have to wish for anything bad to happen.
Keep smiling. This is going to be a really great year. I know I said that last year. From what I remember, it was.