Eulogy

He was an experienced skier. Had probably skied that slope a dozen or more times through the years. Yet, on his annual family ski trip in Wyoming, he went down a slope and never came back. No one even saw him fall.

He was 54 years old, married with three children. I knew him only professionally and hadn’t seen him in a few years. Still, I can’t imagine what his family must be feeling. Were the words they last exchanged kind? Full of love? I certainly hope so.

This time of year always brings about the finality of things, doesn’t it? There are the “best of” lists and the lists of celebrity deaths. The years top songs/movies/articles/books, etc., are plastered everywhere. Everything is summarized. Eulogized. Some folks are ready to give 2014 the big middle finger with a boot aimed squarely at its bum, while others lament the passing of another turn around the sun. For many, it is just another sunset followed by another dawn paired with an excuse to buy a new calendar (I knew I forgot something!).

Me? I seem to recall writing some kind of resolution post in early January. nope, scratch that. Those were 2013 goals. Still, I accomplished some things on the list, while others I will always be working on. But I also won’t let that list be my barometer for success. You know what I did in 2014?

I tried effing hard.
I did the very best I knew how.
I had a lot of rotten days.
I had a lot of wonderful days.
I had periods of pushing myself, and times when I had to pull back before I crushed myself.
I felt regret.
Anguish.
Happiness.
Peace.
Melancholy.
Anger.
Fear.
Worry.
Joy.
Zen.
I tried new things.
I loved, and I loved hard.
I found truths about myself, and others that I wasn’t even searching for.
I learned.
I grew.
I survived.
I lived.
I found my voice, and I came back here to this space.

Maybe it doesn’t sound like the banner year that some folks write about in their Christmas card letters, but it was the one I was living and that’s a success all on its own, no?

We’re so lucky, aren’t we, that we have a chance to craft our final words, even if only to 2014? What will yours be? Will they be words of kindness and love or regret and bitterness? Will they be desperate pleas for a second chance, or will they be gentle and honest?

*************

Before I go, I want to thank you for sharing this space, this year, and this story with me. Cheers and wishes to you for a safe and happy new year.

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