Goodbye, 2010

December 30, 2010

Or is it “so long”?

2010 was the most life-changing year I’ve ever had. I had a child. I can’t think of anything that can top that. What else can affect you the way having a baby does?

A few days ago I took down our 2010 calendar to make room for the new one. Before tossing it into the recycling bin, I decided to flip through it. “Ultrasound @ 8:30.” “Prenatal appt. @ 11:15.” “Doula tea @ 1:00.” Birthdays. Spaghetti benefits. Vet appointments. The mundane mixed with the extraordinary.

Most of 2010 was good. Amazing, really. I spent the first six and a half months growing a baby inside of me. I spent the last five and a half months nurturing my son and figuring out this motherhood stuff; it’s a job I never realized I wanted so much, or could be so good at. I feel so LUCKY. I have such a beautiful, healthy, happy little boy. And I get to spend each and every day with him. I am exhausted, but it’s the best exhausted you could ever be.

But this year was more than just being pregnant and having a baby. We celebrated the lives of our friends and family. We surrounded ourselves with love. We also lost my husband’s brother.

I’m not very familiar with death. I’ve only lost two people that were close to me, but I was younger and it didn’t hit me as hard. When we lost my brother-in-law, I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know how to handle my husband. I felt like everything I said was the wrong thing. I used to spend a lot of time on livejournal, and this is what I wrote that day:

J’s brother died in the middle of the night.

We got a call very early this morning.

I can’t believe how suddenly this all happened. What do you even say?

We cuddled in bed for a long time. I had my arm around him and the baby kept kicking him the back. The gap between life and death can be very short sometimes.

I still don’t know what to do. I keep trying to make it better in the irrelevant ways I know how (“Do you want me to make you breakfast? I can make pancakes. I’ll put blueberries in them…”). He doesn’t even like pancakes. He’s doing pretty good, though. Mostly just worried about his family.

It was an odd balance. Sadness and mixed emotions and unspoken words. I won’t get into details about that, but I think (in many ways) it can be harder to lose someone who you have a rocky relationship with than someone you are close to. It was strange because it happened in the middle of such a happy time in our lives, as we awaited the arrival of our child. I remember feeling our baby kick and move around inside me during the more difficult moments. It kept me grounded. It was like he knew when I most needed comfort, a gentle reminder that everything would be okay. And it was. We made it through it. It challenged our marriage and what we knew about family and life, but it also made us stronger.

And, less than two months later, our son was born. Just like that, we were parents.

It is with mixed feelings that I bid farewell to 2010. Thank you. I will be forever changed in so many ways by this eventful year.

It’s time to welcome 2011. We are lucky enough to tiptoe, peacefully, into the new year. I love the feeling of a new year. A fresh start, in a way. Cautious optimism. “Resolutions.” Goals. Things to look forward to.

Was 2010 good to you? Did anything major happen?

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2 Responses to “Goodbye, 2010”

  1. Marla said

    I know what it is like to have death and life mixed together in a short amount of time. My son was born October 12, 2009 and my father died of pancreatic cancer November 5, 2008. These two events were the most difficult and joyous events of my life. I never thought my father would die of cancer, he was a Lover of the Lord Jesus and was a good father (and grandfather) to us kids. I always thought that he would live to see my first born child, but this was not in the Lord’s plan.

    My son,Jonathan Maxwell (Maxwell after my father) has been the reminder to my husband and I that the Lord Jesus gives and takes away, according to His plan and purpose. For that, I am so thankful yet sad that my father never got to meet Mr. Jonathan. I know that one day, they will meet up in Heaven! Alleluia!

    I want to remind you (You already know!) that the Lord blesses us with children. Children are our inheritance from God! I am SOOO Happy that He has blessed you with your little one! What a gift, in a year brushed with grief!

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