Monday, February 4, 2008

Looking Back

If you think about it from my point of view, a whole LOT has happened in 2007. This time last year I had run what would be the first in a string of PR Marathons. I’d just met and started to date a fellow named Jason Reneau. I think I was almost finished with my TESOL certificate…or had I finished it? I can’t remember.
As New Years Day draws near, along with my birthday, it is easy to remember what I was doing this time last year.

Jason threw a New Years party at his house so that I could buy a red dress (yes, that was THE very reason). I did buy a red dress – with my friend Emily Dover – and she shopped for something to wear as well.

Jason also threw me a birthday party – which was the first time he met all of my family – and the whole clan showed up. He baked a cake and Emily, Drake, Dustin and Brea all came. It was the best night ever.

Since then, Emily married Drake, I married Jason, and Brea married Dustin. I ran several more marathons, getting better and then worse. I taught ESL at UAH. I was a bridesmaid in Em’s wedding. I planned my own. For several months, it seemed to be all the three of us did. We had showers, planned weddings, and dreamed of life with a husband and kids one day.

And yet this same year of so much happiness and joy has brought pain and loss as well. Emily Dover Clark was killed in a plane crash, and all those moments of laughter and planning and dreaming and hoping came crashing down with her. We went to her funeral and as I watched Drake behind the podium, surrounded by flowers and talking about his wife… I could not help but remember the few short months that had passed since I’d seen him there, surrounded by flowers, at his wedding.

Thinking about all of this, I am excited and afraid of what the year of 2008 will hold. Will there be joy to match what has already taken place? Dare we plan and dream and hope? What will hold together and what will fall apart?

And so, with all of these thoughts, I look at the new year looming ahead and wonder…and still I plan. I hope and I dream. I might hold on a little tighter to those I love in my life. I might try a little harder to be kind when I don’t feel like it. I might give a little bit more, even when I’m ready to take. I might sing a little louder, I might work a little harder, I might grow a little stronger.

I plan to try, anyway. What better time to start, than in a brand new year?

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