Today we began a new year, the second one we have begun without our son, Leif. Peter tells me that he hopes the day will come when I will remember Leif only with joy at the years and experiences we shared and not with the sadness and grief that he is no longer with us. I would like that to happen, but I don't know how it will ever be only joy when I remember Leif because I will always miss him and always be sad for the way he died. It's hard to think that all the rest of my life, he will never be there. Even so, this New Years is easier than last year, and I am a happier person than I was a year ago. Not the same person, for dealing with Leif's death has changed me, but even though I still have the sadness beneath the surface (and occasionally on the surface), I do detect changes for the better in me . . . and in Peter, too.
2010 is the new "baby year" so I chose a picture of Leif with me when he was still a baby, my beautiful baby boy. This photo was taken of us in July 1976 when he was 18 months old, in our old stone house in Manhattan, Kansas. We were happy.
Last night we watched the ball drop in Times Square and I remembered that of all the holidays around the year for some reason Leif seemed to like New Years the best. Maybe it was because of the sense of new beginnings. I remembered that he always wanted to spend a New Years Eve in Times Square, in New York, with someone he loved, and I'm sad that he never got to do that.
We toasted the New Year without him. I hope 2010 holds good things for our family, our country and our world. If only Leif were here to share it.