NEW YEAR 2018……February 7, 2018
It is February 7, 2018. I am not sure what happened to January. I feel like it rolled right past me in a wave of my emotional swings.
In December I finished off my 2017 New Year’s Resolution of Living Intentionally…and doing something new every week of the year! The whole year was amazing and I tried things I had never done before with good friends, my family, and Vinnie. On Dec. 29th, Vinnie and I came home on a “high” from South Carolina. We had an accepted offer on our “retirement home”, had a plan to close on February 6, 2018, and we were on Cloud 9!
Then the 30th came. A phone call came. Our dear friend, Nancy Denman passed away unexpectedly. She was 54. Vinnie and I, along with her family, friends, and co-workers, were heartbroken. Her funeral would start 2018 off in a somber and reflective mode surrounded by friends we had shared experiences and memories with for over 30 years. At that funeral, Tory Hartmayer Prizio encouraged me to go see Lori Paladino; another good friend (especially of Nancy’s) who was very ill. Tory’s exact words were “Life is short, Debi. We all know that. Just stop by to say hi to Lori. I am sure she’d love to see you.” With trepidation, I followed Tory’s advice and did it. Lori and I chatted and laughed for 15 minutes and I am forever grateful. Lori passed away on January, 24th. She, too, was 54. The realization that Lori and Nancy would be forever together; a friendship without end, is not lost on me or anyone else. Nancy had told me only 3 months ago that she did not know how to live without Lori. We cried at that moment by the frozen french fries in Stop & Shop. In my mind, Nancy went on before her to help ease the transition for Lori to eternal life together. Nancy would never have to know what it would be like to live without Lori after all. In fact, we all have to learn to live without both of them, fully knowing and having faith that they are together free of pain and forever loved.
On Monday, January 29th, many of us hugged each other for the second time in 3 weeks, shook our heads and had no words that would accurately reflect the depth of our pain in the loss of two beautiful women. Yes, January was very hard. The writer in me had a tough time finding words to describe the experiences I had, and the emotions I felt, in the days I walked through this past month.
And yet, Nancy and Lori are perfect examples of individuals who believe in living each day intentionally. Tory stepped in to remind me of that! It was hard to remember that in the passing of two friends, there is the whisper of the heart begging us all to live intentionally.
So, when Stephanie came over to stay at the lake with us, she asked what my New Year’s Resolution would be for 2018. We brainstormed all the things I still have never done: held a tarantula, kayaked down the CT River, slept on a boat in a harbor, camped in my own backyard as an adult, or shot a gun! So many experiences I still have to do…..and I am already 54.
What I do know is that our days on this Earth are not limitless. But the opportunities to share in the lives of so many other people are limitless. So this year, I will continue to live intentionally. I will look for LOVE when it is hard to see. I will look for ADVENTURE when time seems to be passing me by. I will look for times to reach out to others and ENJOY the moments I have to share with the people I am with on this planet during this time in my life. I will CHEER for my children, CELEBRATE in their successes, and help to EASE their PAIN when hard times come.
If I have learned anything from 2017….and the sad month of January 2018, it is to not take the moments in life for granted. I want to LIVE WELL (and INTENTIONALLY), LAUGH OFTEN, and LOVE MUCH.
And, yes, the good news is…..we (Mom and Dad were there in person!) closed on our new home yesterday, February 6, 2018! And we celebrated with a little margarita!!