The holidays seem to call for reflection, especially New Year’s. I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s for several reasons, one incredibly personal. We set goals for ourselves that are often unrealistic. They look good on paper, but we give up before we even begin. How many times have we all tried to lose weight or increase sales by an outrageous percentage? Crazy talk! But that’s not really why New Year’s fails to put me in a celebratory mood.
My son, Grant, was born on December 29th, 2011. He was full term, but passed away five short hours later, as the clock slowly trudged on to the 30th. After an emergency C-section, I should’ve been taking him home on New Year’s Eve. Instead I was mourning the boy I never got to hold. We spent the holiday in shock at the hospital. Eliza, my daughter, who nine at the time, lost her brother, and watched her normally strong mom fall apart. If you know me, then you know how uncharacteristic that is. It was a desperate time for our family …
As Grant’s fourth birthday approaches, I find myself not sleeping … again. I write this at 4am on a Tuesday. We keep asking ourselves how we want to celebrate his birthday this year-how to honor him and not dwell on the loss. Haven’t had an epiphany yet. When I do, I’ll let you know. But I don’t want this to be a message of loss and sadness. Loss is something we all must face, and I’m making a conscious decision this year … despair will not win. The last two Sundays in advent are Joy and Love. I’m embracing both!
This isn’t a goal. Goals fade and too quickly become unrealized. This is a commitment to myself. I’m still going to shed tears, but I’m going to do so with joy in my heart. I’m happily married. I have Eliza, and I also have my rainbow baby, Gabriella (she’ll be three on Valentine’s Day). Two beautiful girls that give me purpose. Can’t say I’ll be ready to party on New Year’s, but I’m ready to be happy. Happy that my family is safe and healthy. Happy that I work for a company that supports and challenges me, allowing me to grow both personally and professionally. Happy that I had nine months getting to know my son.
I hope that you have plenty to be happy about this New Year’s. I hope that you don’t set goals but instead make commitments. From my family to yours, wishing you a fantastic journey in 2016!