And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
The Counting Crows
December has always been the best month of the year for me. As a child all of the family would come together and things were busy and happy.
As I aged things started to change. Family and friends drifted and when I was in my early twenties a good friend killed himself during the holiday season. It was a tragedy and a waste. I’ve thought of him often.
In nineteen ninety-seven my sister was dying of a brain tumor and it was December when it really went downhill. I remember driving home in the darkness after seeing her and crying like a child. Her death in February of the next year was a blessing.
Ten months later my older brother would die in the beginning of December. He was the closest thing to a father that I’ve ever had. After that, December only brought melancholy and profound sadness.
A few years ago my good friend Rod Veverka died right after Christmas. I only knew Rod a short time but he couldn’t have affected me more if I had known him my entire life.
December has changed for me. I don’t know if it is maturation or emotional exhaustion, but it is now a time for reflection. Working in the darkness I think of all the people I have known over the years and all that have passed. How lucky I have been to have known them.
This is my last long December working in the dark. Upon retirement I will have to force myself to take long walks on dark winter nights. It’s important to allow the mind to wander and reflect on those who are no longer with us.