This year there was no celebrating for me at the dawn of 2009. I am not interested in what this year has to offer. I want time to stop. I want to stay right where I was over the last month. Safe with my family together. Happy. Healthy. But, as every Trekky knows, resistance is futile. So 2009 pulled me in kicking and screaming.

Every year I have seen the birth of a new year as a beginning – a clean slate. I look forward to the journey ahead and the changes and challenges this new year has to offer. Not so 2009. I don’t want to look too closely at you. I don’t want to peer too far ahead. I am suspicious of you from the onset. I am afraid that what you have in store for me and those I love is frightening and sad and lonely. As the minutes ticked away and the countdown began I started to panic. You were coming too soon. I longed to hold on and slow things down. To go back to a time when, naively, all I saw was hope and opportunity on the eve of a new year.

They took my mom off the chemotherapy. It wasn’t working. Her cancer has continued to grow. So now we face this reality. We cling to each other. We love and we go on living. Because, as hard as it is and as much as we hate it, this is part of our journey. So, 2009, even though you scare me, I am determined to face you head on not missing a single, solitary second you offer us.

As my sister, Allyson, a Palliative Care Nurse, wrote so eloquently a few years ago in her post In The Process of Dying, There is Living:

…in all the sadness that it represents it holds the most beautiful and
precious times you may ever experience with another person.   People
want to hide from the fact that people die but they forget that in the
process of dying, those individuals are living.  Those moments are
filled with reflections of their happiest memories and funniest
stories, their hopes for their loved ones’ futures.  Those moments are
holding that person’s hand and feeling that you couldn’t be closer with
them.  They are moments of honesty about life that we usually brush
aside.  They are dignity and fear, they are laughter and trials.


Love. Always.

  • Christine

    Jen, I met you only once, but read your posts and have been thinking of you often….thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this time.

  • Haley-O

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve met your mom – what a lovely woman. My healing thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • karen

    Jen, never know what to say but you know we are all there for you

  • karen

    Jen, never know what to say but you know we are all there for you

  • Anonymous

    My son has picked up an expression that just makes me cringe, but in this case it seems so appropriate. This all just sucks. I’m sorry your family’s dealing with this right now, but so glad that you had such a wonderful time together over the holidays.

  • LoriD

    I’m so sorry that you have to face this. I hoping for the best for you and your family.

  • ali

    Jen, this was so beautiful and touching. i’m so sorry to hear that the chemo isn’t working….sending you love and more love for 2009.

  • Kath

    You said it perfectly. Love you. Miss you.

  • Amreen

    Jen, my heart is with you.

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