The road not traveled 'til looked behind, to see the distance covered blind... the story of a year – two-thousand-eleven...
We begin each new year hoping it will be eventful and full of new experiences. Obviously we also hope those events will be jubilant, celebratory, highlights in our lives... yet we also enter each year with a bit of trepidation and wonder – at what will transpire during the next three-hundred-sixty-five days. How will it change us? Move us? Teach us? Two-thousand-eleven began this way for most of us... there were marriages and births already anticipated, and it was predicted to be a very full and busy year.
We think others are the reason we live... but in the end we find out that it us - a selfish act of reclamation that keeps us going. We live our own lives even as we think we live for someone else. I thought I lived for Erhard, but found out that in the end I would live for me.
Sitting here now, two days into the new year, I have many mixed feelings. I cannot dismiss two-thousand-eleven out-of-hand despite the fact that tragedy raised its ugly head toward its end. I was witness to and receiver of many blessings. The Ruszczaks were privileged to gather to celebrate the addition of a bright, articulate, beautiful new daughter-and sister-in-law on October 15th when Stephan married Ashley. I was there when many of my rented children married their respective loves and to marvel over babies that now graced their lives. New people have joined our extended family, bringing with them their sunshine. Even in my saddest hour I was humbled by the outpouring of love that surrounded me and my family after Erhard died so suddenly on October 13th.
I don't know where two-thousand-twelve will lead us... I am terrified as events continue to unfold that have darkened the lives of many I love dearly. I have new responsibilities that sometimes leave me breathless. Financial matters continue to plague me. I have an entire semester of work to catch up even as I begin my last semester as an undergrad at Northern. But I am determined to raise my head and meet these challenges head on. To be there where and when I can for the people I love. To continue to celebrate the precious gift of life we are all given in daily measure. I am both wiser and smarter than I was a year ago.