At midnight, 2013 blew up with a bang and bled colorfully into the night. Max held my hand firmly in his, rubbing his thumb over mine as I leaned my head against his strong shoulder. We watched the fireworks with smiling faces, and I thought about endings.
Everyone tells you about first impressions; your parents, your friends, your teachers. You should look your best. Be polite. Be kind. Be warm. Be welcoming.
But what about last impressions? Because I was standing there with my head on my husband’s shoulder saying bye, 2013, you’ve been good to us and my husband gave me that look. The one that translates to do you hear yourself right now?
I heard myself right then. And I realized it hadn’t been good to us at all. If anything, it had been extremely cruel. We lost one of our dearest friends to a heartbreaking disease, and spent the larger part of 2013 helping his children grieve while we worked through our own loss. Badly. Him and I, we split right down the middle and the blow knocked us in opposite directions. For the first time in nine years, we had to take a break. Take a breather. Go to counseling to learn how to fight right. Fight fair. Then, without warning, I was pregnant. And then, with even less warning, I miscarried. Go directly to jail; do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.
2013. It sucked. But the ending, it had tricked me into believing it had only meant well. Because the ending had looked its best; him with his weekend bag on our front porch, ready to come home. It gave us a polite smile as we dug through the wreckage that was our marriage. It was kind to us by granting us a last-minute trip to Africa. It warmed us by a fire at Christmas, surrounded by our loved ones. And ultimately, we felt welcome once more whenever we walked through the front door of our own home.
Endings can be deceiving, tainting your perception of all that came before. If you let them, the endings can start defining the ‘whole’.
I have yet to decide if this is a good thing or a bad one.