It was New Years day. 2014 was so fresh, and we took a walk in the ice cold mountains of Alpine and the morning was shocking in its newness. The air was so dry it made us cough, and while we talked, our words came out with puffs of smoke, our lips numb.
We talked about everything we had this year. A new baby in September. Kevin's boards. An offer on my book and a publishing date. "2014 is our year," we said, with cold tongues and warm hands.
It's a little heartbreaking how optimistic we were that day. We had no idea what this year would do to us - the ways it would stretch us and hurt us, the sleepless nights of fear and worry, the time apart. We didn't know that Kevin's mom would get in a life-changing accident and remain comatose for going on 2 months now without much promise of recovery. We didn't know what that would do to us and our loved ones. We didn't know that Kevin's schooling would demand so much of him and give such little back. We didn't know that pregnancy came with its own set of anxiety and fatigue. Love too, but also fear. We didn't know.
The picture above was taken a few weeks ago at a family barbecue. Kevin took some time away from his studies and we spent the afternoon eating and holding new babies and throwing frisbees and laughing. I think it's what we imagined our entire year would be like. I was looking through pictures and came across it and thought for some reason of that cold day in January. I'm not sure why I feel so hopeful when I look at it, but I think it has something to do with the heaviness in our eyes. We look tired. And behind our smiles, is more stress than we have ever felt. But we were together that afternoon with so many people that we love and we all decided to be happy anyway.
I think that despite everything we are individually and collectively experiencing, every year and day and hour we get with the people we love is the very best gift. And when I think about my future, that time with the people I love is the only thing I really want.