Monday moment: Saying goodbye

This week, many blogs are reflecting on the past year and the things that ended up mattering. Many writers and talking heads are helping us dive into the new year with resolutions and wishes.

Over the holidays, I rested and wrapped and cleaned and thought often about the year that was 2009. So much happened in the world and in our little life together. We spent the first four months wrapped in the bliss of our wedding (probably the happiest day of my life so far), with parties and planning and happy things that made us feel blessed and charmed in life. Beautiful things, a tropical honeymoon, plans and hopes for how things will be.

But new things must be unswaddled and used. For Patrick and I, these first months of marriage have been some of the most trying -- and most binding -- of our many years together. We've really tested our vow to support one another in good times and bad. We've used our bond to climb out of depressions, to deal with loss, to overhaul a kitchen, to vent frustrations, and to find comfort.

This Monday, we said goodbye to Patrick's grandfather. Grandpa Combs struggled and finally was at peace the morning of Dec. 31. Patrick's paternal grandmother was buried in June.

So, what ended up mattering, as the ball dropped "2010" and tears burned in both Patrick's and my exhausted eyes was pretty clear. It had nothing to do with deaths or bad luck. It had nothing to do with a perfect wedding day, either. It had to do with people, with love and the person with whom we'll spend every new year.

In the end, life is a lot like the Jewish tradition author Elie Wiesel writes of,
"...celebration of life is more important than mourning over the dead. When a wedding procession encounters a funeral procession in the street, the mourners must halt so as to allow the wedding party to proceed. Surely you know what respect we show our dead, but a wedding, a symbol of life and renewal, a symbol of promise too, takes precedence."

So long, 2009. May 2010 be filled with life and rewnewal, and may peace and warm memories take precedence over all else.

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