Today's #reverb10 prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
This was an easy one to think of, but it was a hard one to live: LOSS.
Facebook acquaintances might assume they know why. It'd be easy to say that "loss" sums up my football fandom in 2010, beginning with the crushing disappointment of the national championship game and the frustrating (but rare) losing season that followed. Unfortunately, those inconsequential sports losses aren't why this is my word.
2010 began with mourning for our dear friend Tim. So many things remind us of him: the house he helped us buy, the church sound booth, baseball and football officials, Longhorn visors with sunglasses on top, the list goes on. We miss him desperately, so this year has been filled with our grieving and our attempts to cope with his loss. It's stunning, truly stunning to think how deeply we still feel his death, how very close to the surface our grief remains, even as we approach the one-year anniversary of his accident.
But he's not the only friend we lost. In May we lost Trudi, a sweet woman we'd known from our days in the Midtown singles group. Before that, Jenny, a friend of a friend, spent several agonizing weeks in the hospital before dying, crushing her many friends and even strangers who had prayed for her recovery.
All three of these losses left devastation and disbelief in their wake. Especially since these three were all "young people" (read: our age), we once again were forced to acknowledge our own mortality. It compounds our grief to know that as much as we're mourning, people we love are feeling these losses infinitely more.
Then there are other losses: my two colleagues and friends who left our campus, one abruptly in the middle of the year and the other because of retirement. I worked closely with both. I miss their expertise and advice, but mostly I miss our talks before school and at lunch.
Another good friend took a job out-of-state and then overseas, and even though he is just an email away, I still miss the old Wednesday routine and our midweek visits, and it's been an adjustment to take on some additional responsibilities in his absence.
WOWZERS! Is that a bleak picture of 2010 or what? Throughout this year of loss, as many tears as we've shed and as often as we've struggled to adjust, not once have I felt alone, not once have I forgotten all the ways we're blessed. And this year has been one of great blessings, from the kids' sports and music to the generosity of friends who came to my rescue when I was at my lowest, from a classic summer roadtrip to the maturation of these little people we're raising. My melancholy has won too often, but I can't deny all the good things in my life. And there's a LOT of good there.
But for 2011, I look forward to that blessed peace that transcends all understanding, to hope. Loss is always a part of life, but I'm praying that next year will bring comfort, recovery, revitalization, and in a word, HEALING.