My father was the kind of man who never needed a reason to have a party. He loved entertaining people and our home was always filled with family and friends. Christmas especially, was such a joyous occasion. Although we weren’t Christians, the feeling of love and a sense of family harmony gave us a reason to celebrate as enthusiastically. As a child, I remember waking up early on Christmas morning rushing to the Christmas tree, dizzy with excitement and anticipation of what I would find underneath. My father would always be seated in a specific chair in our dining room, watching my mother laboriously prepare the big lunch we were accustomed to having. All the while, Boney M could be heard bellowing from the radio, singing the Christmas carols I have come to hate since my father’s death. Those happy memories have been relegated to the background of my mind, where only sadness nowmy father’s death, Christmas has taken on a new meaning. Although the ebb and flow of life made it easier to deal with the grief, the silence in our home became too deafening. Visits from family and friends fizzled and pretty soon it was apparent that life as we knew it would never be the same. This past Christmas was celebrated quietly, with even fewer family members and far less presents or excitement of any kind. It became clear to me then, as I sat with my small family having a quiet lunch, that this was the time to create new memories and not hold onto the memories left in the wake of my father’s death. It is time for a new dawn.
So, as I ushered in the New Year, I made a promise to myself that my resolution would be life changing and sustainable. Far from the resolutions of years gone by, this year would be different and not superficial. I resolved that this would be a year of selfishness, where my focus and attention got spent on me and those that deserve my love and loyalty. Through the years of trying to please everyone whilst holding onto the legacy left by my father, I have found that I have lost myself along the way and am constantly disappointed when people treat me differently despite the love and loyalty I bestow onto them. 2012 was a year of many revelations and some of them weren’t pleasant but throughout it all, I discovered my own strength and the endurance I possess to deal with sadness and loss. 2013 will undoubtedly be a year of self-discovery as I always strive to do better and be better. This time however, I will be much kinder to myself, lose all expectations from friends or family who profess to be there and just aren’t, and depend solely on myself for my own happiness. Memories will be made from scratch with only those who truly love and value me and mine in their lives.
Here’s to a glorious year filled with new happy memories and a lifetime of inner peace.