Something about New Year’s Eve has always depressed me. When I was little maybe it was the grey weather. As I got older it was either disappointment with my current date or not wanting to ring in a new year alone. When my father died it was that he did not live to see the millennium. By the time I met my husband to be and we went out I was still willing to stuff myself into high heels. But I disliked the crowds and the amount of money he spent trying to do something “nice;” everything but the dancing I suppose. I will never forget the New Year’s Eve when I had just turned 40. After dinner we wound up having drinks at a restaurant that was packed and happened to be owned by my husband’s maternal side of the family. It was chilly outside and I was wearing my red wool cape Burk got me the prior June in San Francisco when it was every bit as cold. He took this picture as I lit my favorite Cuban cigar, a Romeo y Julieta toro blunt cut, straight from the blazing fire pit. Everyone around us was probably ten years younger and celebrating. Only my beloved knew I had gone through two unsuccessful attempts of in vitro and was told to try again as soon as possible. Hundreds of shots, humiliating and painful procedures with male doctors, endless rounds of taking blood, and now my odds of getting pregnant had plummeted because I was 40, despite the fact that it had only been a couple of months. As the countdown to 2011 began, I took my seven and seven and raised it to my husband’s vodka and tonic. “Here’s to the best new year ever,” I said. “To the best new year ever Baby Doll,” my beloved said. I could see my pain and despair reflected in his deep, chocolate brown eyes. I glimpsed another couple observing us with what was perhaps a touch of envy. If they only knew, I thought. For one year I had not had alcohol or enjoyed a cigar. My bottom was so sore I could not sit; there was blood on my sitting room stool and vials of injectables in our refrigerator. I had endured dye being shot up my tubes, and a host of other things it would not be seemly to mention. Everything had looked perfect and yet nothing took. I cried a lot. Here it was, the start of a new year, and I felt more sad than I had even been despite having my sweet, handsome husband with me. All around us people were shouting, “Happy New Year!” and I felt numb amidst the swirl. Less than one month later, and against all medical odds due to a doctor’s mistake, I would be carrying our only child. I say all this because no one knows what the next year holds. Everything can suddenly change for the better, and when we least expect it. The famed American lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
And so it will be.