Well I have to say that I'll be happy to see this year go, but also a bit sad. I lost my father this year and it was a terrible thing...something I never realized would hurt as much as it did. If you're new to reading my blog, you can read about my loss and how it totally changed my world here and here. I find it sad because in a way I feel as if I'm saying goodbye to my dad all over again.
I want to share with you how we celebrated New Year's growing up. It was an exciting time for us...we knew we were going to be able to stay up almost all night. We ALWAYS had church on New Year's Eve. The service didn't start until 10:00 PM. It was wonderful to go to church so late at night and know there would be a party following the service.
My father always had a beautiful sermon to preach and he always made sure he ended the sermon at around 11:55 for the entire church to get down on our knees and welcome in the new year praying. It was so exciting to be kneeling there watching the clock, waiting to whisper, "Happy New Year" to my many friends. I don't think too many of us teenagers were praying!
My father would get up and announce at 12:00 midnight, "Happy New Year" and the entire church would sing a final hymn and then it was off to the party! When I was really little the party was held at the Rizzo's house, but as I grew older, the party moved to the Gambino's house. We would spend hours down in their basement playing games, eating and just having fun...sometimes we stayed there till 4:00 in the morning!
Later that afternoon our family from Mt. Kisco, NY would drive into the city to visit with us. We had so much fun with the cousins eating homemade pizza and all the other goodies my mom would prepare.
New Year's Eve just doesn't have the same excitement as it did when I was younger. I'm finding church is different. It's not the same...it's earlier and there are no parties to go to afterwards. We never end the service on our knees waiting for midnight to come. It's just another service; home long before the strike of midnight ever comes.
I find that sad because I think where we all need to be, especially this year, is on our knees as we welcome in 2009. I need to be on my knees seeking God for guidance in my life. I'm missing the things I did as a child, the excitement, and I want to recapture that!
I'm going to try this year not to fall asleep so early and maybe, just maybe I can fall to my knees and think back to a time when all was right in the world...I'm a little girl again in my father's church, on my knees waiting to hear my dad say, "Happy New Year." I know that's where my dad would want me to be. I'll be praying that I never forget the wonderful times I had growing up and can have again, if only in my heart.
Happy New Year Everyone!