Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bittersweet Day

Credit: Darren Rowse found via Pinterest
Well, January 1st has arrived, which as expected, brought about a variety of mixed emotions.

Today was the start of a brand new year, the last day of my sister's husband being here for awhile, the day after the glorious wedding celebration, a reminder of last year's sadness in January, knowing that this coming year will have some difficult transitions, and the end of the joyous Christmas season (undecorating day). Lots of emotions for sure, kind of hard to process it all.

Mom and I spent the day taking down the Christmas decorations and cleaning the house. This is the traditional day to do all that and it worked out well since Sarah was off on her honeymoon with D. She is the ultimate Christmas girl! As far as she is concerned, every day could be Christmas. 

Sarah's love of Christmas made taking down the tree a bit more challenging for us this year, however. In a few months she will be moving to be with her husband, so that meant sorting out her ornaments so they could be easily boxed up. Kind of amazing to be at this point in our lives already. My lil sister is a grown woman now and will be flying out of the nest soon...

As I said, lots of mixed emotions today. I am glad that Mom and I were just at home and focused on getting things organized and cleaned up. It has been such a whirlwind in these past two weeks, that the house has been neglected. Also, it was just time to take things down and get ready for January. Keeping busy like this helped my brain to process some of what I was feeling-- liked being productive too.

Like other years, we put up our fun blue, white and silver January decorations. This month is always hard being that it is after the holidays, so we make sure to put up some decor to brighten the mood of the house. We enjoy having the mantel with stringed lights and candles around the house. Having a little extra light in the house make a difference, especially on those dark and dreary days.

This evening arrived rapidly, goodbyes always come so fast. Dad, Mom, and I drove out to the airport to meet D and Sarah. We went with D to check in his bags and after he checked in he told us to come over to the counter. The airline gave us passes to go with D to his gate, which was so wonderful. Any extra time with him is important, particularly for Sarah. Kind of crazy to get married and then have your husband depart the next day!

We all waited at the gate for at least 30 minutes and soaked up our time together. It was hard watching Sarah and D. This is how life will be though, for the next 5-8 years. With D in the military, there will be many happy and then sad memories right next door to each other. Much of life will be bittersweet. Today is just one of many that they will share, as well as for us too. I can't tell you how much I already miss my new brother-in-law. 

Close to 8 o'clock, D boarded the plane for his first class seat (yes, US Airways rock- they give soldiers first class seats provided there is space). We moved over to the big glass windows and watched the rest of the passengers get on the plane. I sat there in disbelief at how fast it all happened... Seems like the 15th was here not all that long ago. 

As we watched his plane taxi to the runway, a worker right outside the window pointed towards the opposite side of the terminal. He was telling us to go to the other side so that we could watch the plane take off. We weren't totally sure which windows he meant, but we walked in that direction. This kind gentleman got into the building quickly and came over to us telling us exactly where we needed to be looking. He told us the direction of where the plane was taking off, and to put our hands on the window to block out the ceiling lights.  He said, with a Spanish accent, "I came here because it was important to you." I told him my sister got married to her soldier, and that this meant a lot to us to watch him leave. I feel incredibly touched by that man.  I wouldn't really describe it as a "guardian angel" type moment, but in a way it was like that (yeah confusing I know it). Maybe the best way to describe it is someone "paying it forward" without realizing it. I feel like I owe that generosity to another fellow human being.

A bittersweet day for sure but also a reminder of the goodness of others. I feel better about 2012 than I did going into 2011. On the previous New Years Eve, I had a sense that the year was going to be interesting. This year I am expecting certain changes, but I feel like there might be some better days. I do have hope for 2012 and I think that is a pretty good start.

Like I said in my wedding toast, here's to moments filled with joy and strength in the challenging times.

Peace to all of you!

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