Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hopeful New Year

Happy new year

No tears tonight. (It's New Year's Eve as I write.)

Tonight I celebrate what lies ahead of me. Tonight I take notice of what prior New Year's brought my way. I know that tonight a friend is celebrating a wedding anniversary without her husband. I know that tonight another friend is remembering this as the day she met the husband who is also no longer beside her. Yet knowing each of these women, I'm sure that even if tears are falling, there are beautiful smiles on their faces.

Looking ahead to the new year is our way of projecting hope into our future. For those of us who are widowed hope is not something we can always easily access. Yet for me, at this point in my life, I do have hope, and more of it than expected.

I know that years ago after learning that my husband was terminally ill, I thought I lost hope. Yet, in the days that followed his emergency surgery I found myself accessing hope that I couldn't recognize at first. It was that hope that spurred me on to seek out the right path for us as a couple, and it was that hope that allowed me to not get stuck so deep in my unexpected sorrow. It was also that hope that provided me with two more loving years with the man I gave my heart to.

After losing Michael I felt that once again I had lost all ties to hope. I was not able to see beyond the pain and sorrow, even as the days and months went by. I began to question if my future carried any real meaning. After surviving on scary night I decided to trust that hope was there, even if I didn't recognize it. I made a decision to set off in a new direction, and I trusted that there was something, not necessarily someone, out there for me.

Tonight I sit here in my home, with all the chaos that is included with a house full of kids and pets. I had hoped for a very quiet peaceful night, one like last year, yet it is clearly not what I am to have. The television is blaring, the dogs are running around, I have struggling with a miserable cold, and my new love is at work rather than sitting beside me.

Inside my head I keep hearing Mick Jagger singing these lyrics..."YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT." For those of us who find ourselves seeking out this blog, this is a bit of an understatement.

My point is this, no, I don't believe I got what I wanted. I got more. I got a lifetime of Michael's love. It wasn't my lifetime of love, but it was his. I know that he never stopped loving me, nor I him. I know that loving him gave me so much hope in my future. I know that loving him taught me that sometimes hope takes a different turn. Before meeting Michael I thought love had passed me by. I had somewhat lost hope. He renewed it. In learning that I was soon to lose Michael I thought I had lost hope. Once again, it was renewed. In losing Michael I was sure that I had lost hope. Yet, here I sit, being hopeful once again.

Let's all look forward to a hopeful year. Let's say our thanks for what we had, and let's be open to what the future holds.

Happy New Year.

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well you might find
You get what you need


  1. Best to you, Dan, as this year unfolds.

  2. What a beautiful post, Dan.

    And what a beautiful thing it is to know that you were his lifetime of love.

  3. Dan, I LOVE the whole paragraph that begins "My point is this...". So very well put. Thank you for expressing the hope that I have for a wonderful future!

    Happy New Year to you and all the best for 2012.

  4. Dan - I love your posts so much.
    Great lyrics. So true.
    I thought I lost all hope when my husband died (like Michael from a brain tumour) I thought the world would never feel beautiful again. But last night as I lay in bed at 11:30 p.m. with his journal and his loving notes to me. Full of hope, desire, love and a desperate wish for me to carry on. I felt the world was beautiful because I had loved him and he had loved me. I didn't get what I wanted - 65 years together. But I did get 36. I am so grateful for those years and for his love. I love how you described that view - his life.
    I loved my husband almost from age 21 to 56 - almost his whole life and right to his last breath in my arms. What a gift.
    I am not bitter, I am remembering how lucky I am. Thank you for starting the year with that hopeful remembrance. I have everything I need and I had everything I wanted. It is enough.
    Happy New Year.
    be well.

  5. Thank you. Great post - Love the line "I got a lifetime of Michael's love" absolutely perfect. I too got my Michael's love and his mine, forever......

  6. "I don't believe I got what I wanted. I got more. I got a lifetime of Michael's love. It wasn't my lifetime of love, but it was his."


  7. Thank you for your beautiful words. My husband died from a GBM brain tumor almost 5 months ago. I am having a hard time thinking about the New Year without him. We were married for 5 years and he was diagnosed 2 1/2 years into our marriage. Your words help me to focus on the amazing love my husband and I had for each other and that will never die.

  8. To Anonymous above. I feel a kindred connection to anyone who lost their loved one to a GBM. My spouse was also diagnosed early into our relationship. Allow the love you shared to carry you along. It will forever be of strength to you.

    I will be hopeful for you.


  9. Hi Dan- I am anonymous above. Thanks for your kind words. I look forward to reading your blog.