Today, New Year's Eve, marks the end of 2011. The end of a year that began with hope and promise, and quickly devolved into the Worst Year of Our Lives. Tomorrow will usher in 2012, with its own potential of being a fresh start, full of new dreams. And with it begins a year that will never know my Peanut.
On this day last year you and I were home together, dancing joyfully to James Blunt singing "Stay the Night" on The Today Show. We watched the severe weather reports as tornados ripped through the St. Louis area while we hunkered down in the basement, you tooling around in your brand new Cozy Coupe. Later that day Dadda and I made you your first taste of filet mignon and asparagus, much to your delight and amazement. Your little face and its awed expression said it all, "This is DEEEEEeeeee-licious! I. Love. Food!" We talked of New Year's Eve celebrations to come, making this meal our tradition, eventually having you invite friends over...the future was bright, wide open and full of Peanut Possibilities.
Just over three weeks later, out of nowhere and without explanation, your life ended while you slept.
So much of the rest of 2011 is a foggy blur to Momma's memory. So much of the year was spent trying to just figure out how to live without you. How to make sense of this world. How to not be bitter, angry, and without hope. It would have been so easy to abandon hope.
Yet, out of the ashes hope has risen, in the form of your little brother. The Bean. It now looks like he will arrive in 2012, and for that I am thankful. I know a year is a year is a year, but...having him arrive in 2012 has been my hope, my prayer, since we confirmed we were pregnant last spring.
Peanut, Momma has always viewed life as a series of chapters, that eventually create our own very individual book. The chapters vary in length, duration, joy, pain. Some chapters introduce people and events that will be a part of our story forever. Others enter and exit, but leave their mark. We can't write our story in advance. We can't see how it will end. This outlook has allowed me to bid chapters farewell without drama or too much heartache. Until this year.
The closing of 2011 feels monumental. The idea of a new chapter, a new year, in which you haven't lived is heart-stopping. 2012 is the beginning of a lifetime of years, of chapters, when we will honor you through memories, stories and laughter. But, no more hugs. No more new tales of Peanut adventures. After three years touched by the wonder and joy of you, this chapter now closes. Another milestone. Thud.
I don't know what 2012 will bring. But, I have hope. Hope that grows and burns brighter, day by day. Just like my love for you, Peanut. To the moon and back!