"We'll have time in 1992."
That's what dearest one and I used to say to each other when the kids were young. Sometimes we still say it to one another for old times' sake. We shake our heads at how long ago that was now.
I am grateful to have today.
I love a new year because of the privilege to be alive to see it. Yesterday was my youngest son's birthday. I nearly died shortly after I gave birth to him over two decades ago. That evening was spent being brought round after going into shock from blood loss and being rushed to surgery. I remember them lifting me onto the surgery table and feeling like I was going to faint again. I tried to tell them that if I fainted it didn't mean I was under anaesthetic yet so don't start anything! But I didn't have the energy to speak, not even a whisper.
In the middle of the night I woke in my hospital bed to a nurse shining her flashlight on the all the various tubes running in and out of my body. As she checked my vital signs she brought her face, illuminated by the glow of the flashlight, right close to mine and whispered "Happy New Year" with much tenderness and care. She showed me her watch that said 2 AM. I'd given birth at 4 PM. I asked her to bring my son to me just so I could hold him. I didn't tell her that I couldn't remember what he looked like, the time with him had been so short, before blood had started flowing like milk from a carton, and they ran my stretcher to the operating room.
She handed him to me and let me hold him for a few moments. I brought his head to my face and breathed in his newborn scent. As I looked at him I saw an identifying mark that helped me relax and trust that I would be able to pick him out of a row of baby isolettes once I was able to be up and walking. The night seemed sacred in its stillness and in the nurse's compassion. I had had a near death experience earlier in the evening and was very much aware how fortunate I was to be alive. It was that experience that got my attention. Three months and a domino effect of circumstances later, I had my last drink.
I know I've written about this all before. 1992 came a handful of years after that New Year's Eve wake up call. I hope I never stop being grateful for being alive to remember.