2011 was obviously a low point in my life. The loss of my aunt and cousin was unimaginable, and was compounded by my once seemingly invincible family’s increasing brushes with reality. My grandparents are on the border of no longer being able to live on their own, my parents’ marriage seems to be crumbling and with it my own relationship with my mother, my aunt has ALS. 2012 does not promise to be any better. My aunt entered hospice last month, my parents have some tough decisions to make, and my grandparents are not getting any younger. Still, in the midst of this, I cling to the hope that Jesus provides. That this life is not all there is, that the brokenness of this world is not how it was intended to be, that while I may face struggles here, there is hope of the world to come.
I am heading out to celebrate the New Year this evening, and as I was dressing I was about to put on the silver bangles I bought earlier this year. Instead, I placed on my wrist two red bracelets, one faux-leather with a single bead, made en masse by my family as a remembrance of my aunt and cousin, one rubber labelled with the words “Accelerating the Cure for ALS.” As I bid adieu to a year in which I lost two family members and welcome a year in which I will very likely lose one more, it seemed like the most fitting accompaniment to my outfit for the evening.
In short, I wish good riddance to 2011, I hesitate to welcome 2012, and I yearn for the life of the world to come.