As we come to the end of 2014, I am between extremes of emotion. On one hand, it has been an annus horribilis. Health issues have been a major concern for my parents. There are times when I wish I could just pop over and lend a hand. But living halfway across the country leaves me unable to help in any immediate way. This year also was a time of transition for many of us in our work and careers, which whether planned or unplanned raises anxieties about what the future will hold. And my aunt’s losing battle with leukemia this summer was a devastating shock to us all. It put particular stress on my sister and cousins who were with her through her entire struggle.
And yet, with so much tsouris, I have found great solace in the strength, love and compassion of my family, friends and colleagues. My wife and children, parents, brother and sister, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends old and new showed great personal resolve through it all, for which I am humbled and grateful. From all of this has come a renewed optimism for the year ahead. That despite the inevitable struggles we will face in 2015, there will be strength and support from family and friends no matter the circumstances or distance.
Although my instinct is to say “goodbye and good riddance” to 2014, I prefer the words of Robert Burns. We should not forget our past. We should remember and cherish our family and friends. We will be there in their time of need, just as they will be there for us, for auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.
— Robert Burns