My daughter was excited this Christmas to open up one of her gifts from Mountain Equipment Coop: a slack line. I wondered where she would be able to attach it in the middle of winter – now that the basement poles are no longer exposed. Of course, we needed to explore the possibilities anyhow. My daughter is quite driven to find solutions to problems she has. After there was a “no go” decision for the basement, she turned her eyes to the front yard… and voila. The street-light was a good distance from the maple tree and it would be perfect. The snow below would also serve to cushion the multiple falls that we were advised she would have initially.
With snow pants, boots, mitts, and all the winter garb, Katya was ready. She hopped up on the slack line with great caution and focus. And fell. She tried again, and again, and again. Finally, she called it a night and unhooked the line.
My husband and I watched from the front room. I thought about how my mom and dad would have been so excited to see her tackle this new sport. This was something new – something that they had not seen before… much like New Year’s will be for my family and I. I recall I was anxious to leave the year 2010 (the year Mom passed away). I don’t want, however, to leave 2012… the year Dad passed away. Moving forward will mean leaving the past.
I have always found New Year’s to be somewhat nostalgic. It is a time to think of highlights, things for which we can be thankful, and things that we want to improve. How important is it to not forget the past and to reflect? I think it is vital to pause and reflect. It is not easy, though. Sometimes mistakes we’ve made – mistakes I’ve made seem unforgivable. But these mistakes have also been such powerful lessons. Mom taught me, for example, what not to do – and by learning from her – I was able to help Dad depart this world with dignity.
What lessons did I learn from Dad? I’ve learned that everyone needs a purpose – no matter how old you are. I’ve learned that that purpose can be as simple as what Dad had decided. “My purpose, Stacey, was to make people happy.” I’ve learned that to forgive people, you first have to be honest with them and tell them how you feel. I’ve learned that it is vitally important to count your blessings.
It is a tricky balancing act – to not fall too far on either side of this line that sits between history and future – the stroke of midnight between 2012 and 2013… the “dash” between one’s birth and one’s death. It is tricky, but not impossible. And tomorrow, Katya will, no doubt, be back up on that slack line… finding her own balance – just like me.
Thanks to all of you who have supported my Dad and I through this blog – our sentimental journey. I hope that this journey has allowed you some insight into your own lives. And so, I will write the last post for 2012 and bid all of you, “Ta-ta for now. ” (TTFN) from Bill Duff, (Dad) and I (Stacey).
All the best in the new year!