Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflecting on a decade passed

This New Year's Eve marks the ending of the "Millennial" decade. On an international level, it is the decade of 9/11 and the many consequences we feel to this very day (2 wars, Patriot Act, Gitmo, upticks in police brutality incidents, the slow corruption of civil liberties which continues unabated under Obama, etc).
On a more personal level, it is a decade of great sorrow and great joy.

(Our last photo of all four of us "kids". Dad's 60th birthday, May 2001)
My brother Tommy and his wife had their daughter, Sara, 10 years ago tonight - almost a millennium baby.

Fast-forward eighteen months and little Alyson was born. Twelve days later, and Tommy was taken from us in an act so horrific that we as a nation can only refer to it as 9/11, because to truly focus on each individual person and their individual deaths would be too much to bear.

But time goes on, and heals our broken hearts. Sometimes in fits and starts, sometimes in a slow and steady stream.
My brother, Paul, married his lovely Leah and they went on to bring Madison and Kaylyn into the world. New joys to savor, new loves to share.

My brother Jim sadly divorced, and his sweet daughter Audie moved away to Florida - but she comes "up North" a lot to visit with us and my other wee nieces, who adore her.

My grandmother, Ada, passed away just shy of her 94th birthday. We said a sad goodbye, but at the same time we rejoiced in the life she led - she spent her last years in her own home surrounded by four generations of loving family - a blessing indeed!

My dear sister in law married a lovely man, and we welcomed him into the fold as our new brother.
My son, Matthew, graduated high school, turned 18 and then 21 in this decade - milestones along his path, as I watch him grow into a handsome and interesting young man.

My nephews, Paul and Robert, were accepted into Harvard and started attending this past September - a wonderful recognition of their talents.

But then a very dear friend lost all of her children in a tragic accident to heartbreaking to comprehend. I still weep to think of that day...

(We will always remember Emma, Alyson and Katie)
And then finally long-awaited reunion with Lorna, lovely young woman dear to my heart.

This decade is a tapestry of many shades. Births and deaths. Weddings and divorces. Reunions. The all lend their color. My "millennial" decade has been about FAMILY, and rediscovering over and again why family is so important.
What has this decade meant to you