My Goodbye Year

Dana  by Dana Taylor

I awakened to the quietest Christmas morning ever. My parents are long-gone. I’m no longer anyone’s darling daughter. My own daughters are young women now, nurturing their budding families. No husband greeted me on Christmas morning with fresh coffee and a new bottle of perfume. He suddenly departed in a car accident last February. My starring role as wife has played out. Even my identity as pet owner disappeared recently. My cat died at Thanksgiving. Enough already.

photo (3)I gazed out the bedroom window. A bright Southern California sun promised record-breaking high temperatures. Chirping birds appeared to be my most lively company. I threw off the covers, pulled on a Christmas sweatshirt and took myself off to duck pond park.

As I circled the water, I reflected on my year of goodbyes. Twelve months earlier, I’d anticipated 2013 with trepidation. The dreaded third year of the decade. All lives have patterns. To get the big picture, read Gregg Braden’s Fractal Time. It might change your life. If you live long enough and pay attention, you might figure out your key patterns. By 2003, I’d realized the third year of every decade brings illness, change, and often, death.

2003 was one of the most miserable years of my life. My Dad’s stroke irrevocably changed both our lives, forever. I hated leaving my family in Oklahoma and becoming his full time caregiver in California. On the outside, I appeared to be quite gracious about it, but inside I railed at losing my independence and the family life I had created. Of course, it was no picnic for Dad either. We struggled against the sudden restrictions and emerging new roles of disabled man and caretaker daughter. Yet, within the crucible of that difficult year, we both became better people. He revealed memories long buried. I was given the gift of really getting to know my father. My ego took a good bashing, which was a painful, but ultimately liberating experience. Once I surrendered to the changes of 2003, I found peace again.

 Fast forward ten years. So much has happened in a decade. Between Reiki, prayer, meditation and numerous attunements, I perceive the world very differently. My intuition is much keener. I knew 2013 would be a year of departures and transitions. The first came on Christmas Day 2012 when my motherly mentor, Jeanie, went to be with Jesus on his birthday. Nobody loved Jesus like Jeanie. I’m sure He welcomed her with open arms.

I also sensed Christmas of 2012 would be my last holiday season with my husband. I didn’t let a moment go by unnoticed. I stored up the last conversations, the final smiles, the last date night in my mind to recall and relish. His final act of mailing a Valentine card to me before smashing his car in a construction zone, was heart-wrenching and wonderful at the same time.

The deaths kept coming– a childhood friend, close relatives of close friends. Last month, after great struggle, my dear mother-in-law finally passed over. Even my best feline pal, Buddy, had to leave me. I’d known his health was failing and his death could have been very depressing. Yet, his timing was perfect. He hung on until my family came into town for Thanksgiving. The morning when his breath grew short, I carried him out to his favorite chaise lounge in the backyard. I prayed over him and he simply let go. We buried him in his favorite garden spot.

 The lessons of 2003 served me well for 2013.

  • Surrender–Don’t fight fate. Events are only bad if you perceive them that way. Instead of fighting the currents of change, survival may mean going with the flow. Surrender to sadness when it rises up. Let it flow and wash away.
  • Accept Grace–Spirit is always on hand to help through the hard times. The outpouring of emotional, financial, and practical support after my husband’s death came from many directions. My husband helped many people during his lifetime. They stepped forward to assist me for his sake and for mine.
  • Welcome Change–The seasons of life are ever-evolving. Remember the past fondly, but relish the adventures of the future. Keep growing, learning, and transforming.

2014 promises to be a time of new beginnings. New babies on the way! Our younger daughter, Cary, will give birth to her first baby almost a year to the day of her dad’s departure. New nieces and nephews are on the horizon.

Two new books are emerging from the depths of my creative subconscious. New clients and friends are finding their way to my doorstep.

Farewell to the Goodbye Year, ring in the Hello Year. The best is yet to come. (Maybe I’ll even get a new kitty.)

Happy New Year–

Dana Taylor

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4 comments on “My Goodbye Year

  1. Hi Dana-

    Merry Christmas and Happy 2014! Yes, I think a new kitty cat is a must! I signed up for your blog :o). Love it!!! (and very informational). Want to wish you safe travels to Hawaii. I remember you said you were traveling in January. So, is it still a girl? I know you were insisting it is a boy. Or, perhaps twins? I am so glad for 2014 as well. It’s been a very hard year! Sending a big hug!

    Karen Calhoun

    Sent from my iPhone 

  2. What a moving and inspiring post. (Sorry – only just discovered it!)
    Thank you for sharing those thoughts. I also find Greg Braden very inspiring and am learning to follow the flow of life, taking what I can from each experience.
    I wish you well in 2014 – Jan x

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