Today is the first day of 2013 and it started off as good as anyone could hope. I woke up next to my wife and to the sound of my hound dog Mable on the floor snoring. Once I was more conscience I started into my usual overactive stream of thoughts and worries. My phone suddenly started to make all kinds of noise. I picked it up and I had a list of reminders/updates from various apps including a series of updates from a post that I had made on a certain social network. My post was short and simple..."Screw you 2012. Worst year ever". There were some replies that agreed and some that were funny and some that were questioning why. The reason for the statement is the same reason that formed the basis for the discussion that Kara and I had. We were tired of 2012 and all the suffering and grief that it brought to us and our families. Don't get me wrong there were a lot of great moments for a lot of people and there were even great things that Kara and I experienced but in general we were done with 2012. This is the first time that I can ever remember hoping for a year to end and for a a rebirth of hope.
Last night Kara had a great idea to start a tradition for our family. I listened to her idea, misinterpreted it at first, but then joined in. Her idea was that each New Years Eve, starting with last night and moving forward, we would make a list of all the things we can remember good, bad, and indifferent that pertained to our lives, our family, or our loved ones. After about an hour of thinking and writing Kara said to me "Was there anything good that happened to us this year, everything was bad". Now this statement comes from one of the happiest, sweetest, positive thinking people in this world. She is an optimist to the core where I am a realist. She looks at the good and positivity in every situation where I look at things in black and white. Her influence always gives meaning to the black and white that I see. Now knowing this you can see why it was so hard for me to hear a statement like that from her. We sat together and thought of each month and the moments we can remember and I can honestly say that other than a random positive moment here or there that there was almost no positive memories until the last 3 months of the year. Can you imagine for a moment that you and your significant other would have to spend that better 3/4's of an entire year dealing with the hardest, meanest, and saddest things you can imagine? Well Kara and I lived it. We had things taken from us that no one can ever replace. We spent weeks apart, nights of struggle that no amount of consoling could help, and moments of anger at people or things that had no resolution. I will not share the list in great detail but just think about a few things for a moment. Imagine 5 to 6 of your great fears or things you would never want to lose. I will give you a moment. Okay got them? Okay now imagine all of them happening at the same time, watching them unfold in front of you, and not being able to do anything about them. Now imagine all of those things plus thousands of other smaller things, plus the stress of everyday existence, and anything else you can imagine and have those all occur at the same time.
Now imagine this. Through all of this you are still a happy person, your love for your significant other is stronger than ever, and you know have a crystal clear vision of what you want. You are tired of the world taking from you and now it is your turn to take from it. This is what Kara and I decided. We are tired. We are tired of everything. Every moment of our lives we spend giving effort, energy, and love to others. Kara and I can say that we don't feel the world reciprocates this to us. We have reached a limit and we sprinted past it! We decided that this is our year. This is the year of Kara and Patrick...kind of sounds like "It's the season of George!". You may be asking yourself what does this mean. Do you want to know? Really? Well here is what it means.
It means that if Kara wants to do it then we are doing it! If I want to do it we are doing it! We are going to go places, see things, have adventures, see our loved ones, spend time with them, and enjoy them for being themselves and love every minute of it. We will not feel guilty for doing it or for being selfish. I know I just don't care right now what other people think about it because it is our year. We sacrificed more that anyone can ever imagine in 2012 and we are tapped out. We are moving on and are refilling our souls. I love you Kara and hope that we find what we need this year to bring balance to the sadness and frustration of 2012.
Last thing I wanted to do as a new year begins is to put down a few thoughts towards some influential people in my life. I did not get a chance to tell these very special people a few simple things before they left my life.
Granddaddy thank you for giving my mom a chance at a life greater than she could have ever imagine. Thank you for bring her into your family's life and giving her a chance. Thank you for always being at all of our important family events, for taking an interest in what I did as a child and as an adult. Thank you for the childhood of memories at the beach and Christmas. I wish Kara could have met you. I am sorry that I could not get her to see you and I will always regret this.
Dennis thank you for creating such an amazing woman. Kara is truly the greatest person I have ever met and I am fortunate to be married to her. Thank you for loving me and showing me it is okay to hug and that hugging is a much better way to say hello than a handshake. Thank you for showing me how to change brakes on the car and for letting me drive your beloved MG. Thank you for taking your time and effort to help me build my dream, for standing by me when that dream fell apart and for being a man and a father that I hope to be one day. I am sorry that I could not help you more in your time of need as you had done for Kara and I. I regret not being able to help you when you needed it most. I just didn't know what to do. Thank you for loving me, for believing in me, and for letting me marry your daughter.
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