It is a fact of life that I think we all struggle with from time to time.
Just this past week, as I physically and mentally prepared for the end of 2009, I had three separate reminders of this truth.
First, I read a news article regarding the closing of Tavern On The Green in New York City's Central Park. I had read before that they were filing for bankruptcy (and the amount of the beef bill alone blew my mind). Yet, I still expected them to pull it out somehow...a last minute reprieve or something like that. The last meals would be served December 31st. Next week, the iconic items will be put up for auction.
In my mind, Tavern On The Green will always be a magical place. It is the place of our "Grandmas Snow Day" complete with snow angels and long walks through the winter wonderland. Our lunch, overlooking the topiary garden all dressed in white, was a wonderful gift from above.
A day or so later, Robin sent me an email about the sea lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco. When we were visiting last February, they were everywhere. Lounging on floating platforms and barking to beat the band. You could barely hear yourself think, they were so loud. It seems these sea lions have been in San Francisco since just after the earthquake of 1989.
Remember the 'World Series' earthquake in 1989? The Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants were getting ready to play the third game of the World Series when the 'quake hit, collapsing double-decker freeways and a 50' section of the Bay bridge.
It seems that just after that earthquake, the sea lions took up residence at Pier 39 and have been there for the twenty years that followed. In early November, record numbers were recorded at the pier...and yet, just after Thanksgiving they started leaving in droves. Last week only 10 remained.
Finally, last Tuesday evening, I stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up some reading material for our trip to the Memphis area. One of my favorite magazines to peruse is Today's Christian Woman. I have had subscriptions to it in the past...but lately, I have just been picking them up when I go into a bookstore. I picked up the latest edition and thought nothing of it. At bedtime, I took it to my room to leaf through before falling asleep. I hadn't noticed until then that it was the September/October issue. No big deal. I have had that happen to me several times in the past...you pick up a magazine only to realize that it is actually an issue behind.
I have a bit of an OCD problem when it comes to magazines and books. I HAVE TO read every page ...first to last. That makes sense when it comes to books...except that I HAVE TO read every Forward, Acknowledgement, etc. IN ORDER! Needless to say, the Editors column is one of the first things that I read in any magazine. I was shocked and saddened to find that the issue I was holding in my hands was to be the last issue of Today's Christian Woman. (Yeah, all that reading, but I missed the bold "Final Issue" on the front cover!) This magazine has encouraged me and rebuked me (in a good way) for more of my adult years than I can count. Now it is to be no more.
It is with these things weighing on my mind that I closed out 2009. Not the best year...but certainly not the worst either. There was a part of me (the melancholy side, I guess - You know; my strong side) that didn't want to let go...that wanted to pout that things I had enjoyed would not be there to enjoy in the future.
But then, I was reminded by that Still, Small Voice that instead of pouting (which would do no good whatsoever at fixing any of it) I needed to be thankful for having the experiences in the first place. There is nothing to miss if I don't live my life day by day and enjoy the moments as they are given.
So, yeah, 2009 wasn't the greatest of years...but it was a year filled with special moments and unexpected surprises that deserve to be treasured. Even the things that I may take for granted as always being available to me to experience again should be appreciated...because there are no guarantees on that.
So, here is to remembering 2009 with fondness and gratitude...while experiencing each day of 2010 as it comes.
(And y'all are free to remind me of this post when I start complaining!)