This will be the first time in my adult life that I will be happy to say goodbye to the previous year.
In many ways, 2012 was the worst year of my life. It’s the year my mother got brain cancer and died. When I think back on the year, I still feel the heartbreak of losing my mother like it was yesterday. Many wise people who have experienced profound grief have told me that this void will never go away, but that the intensity of the pain and its frequency will lessen with time.
I think back to New Year’s Eve 2011. I blissfully enjoyed the company of good friends without a clue in the world about what was to come. But if I had known, would it have changed anything? I don’t think so. It would have just prolonged the pain.
At least I can say that up until April 20, 2012, I lived life to the fullest, and so did my mother. Neither of us had an inkling of what the future held. And the reality is that none of us do, really, ever.
We like to think we are in control, but the truth is we control very little. At any moment any of us could get a call that changes our lives forever. That’s why it’s so important to make it a priority in life to surround ourselves with the people we love, and never let anything get in the way of that. My New Year’s resolution, if you will, is to concentrate on doing just that.
My mother was always the first person to call me on New Year’s Eve no matter where she was, or where I was. I would usually have to strain to hear her over the din of my friends whooping it up in the background.
“Happy New Year, Baby,” she said. “I love you so much.”
“Me too, Mom. Me too.”
So, this year, I will be breaking tradition and enjoying a quiet New Year’s Eve home with my family. I know there will be no call at 12:01 a.m. from my mother. But I can promise you I will be talking to her.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.