Last year, Brian and I spent New Year’s Eve at a friend’s party. While we’ve spent many Eves with this friend, this was the first one that included his new wife. We did the usual things. Drank. Talked. Played beer pong. Wore silly hats. Danced.
Shortly before midnight I saw the new wife sprint to the kitchen, shouting something about grapes. A few minutes later, she emerged and began handing them out with a glass of champagne. “What’s this for?” I asked. I was told that at midnight I should drink the champagne and make a wish for each of the 12 grapes. It was a Hispanic tradition, one that was clearly very important to her.
She managed to get her grapes out to everyone just in time for the last 10 seconds of 2015. As the countdown began I started thinking about the things I would wish for. I looked around the room at people I’ve known as long as I’ve known Brian. People who used to attend these parties alone, but now had spouses and children who were running around or were sleeping in one of the bedrooms. I thought about how frustrated I was with my life. How stuck and stagnant things were feeling.
4… 3… 2… 1… Happy New Year! Everyone kissed their loved ones as they made the arduous journey into the new year, then we all frantically downed our champagne and grapes.
I don’t remember what my wishes were, specifically. I do know that I desperately wanted for things to be different. I wished for something that would force the changes that I could not make on my own.
I’ve said it before, but I often wonder if my cancer was the response to my desperate pleas for change. That night wasn’t the first time that wished/prayed/asked the universe to help. What if I asked for this?
This year, Brian and I didn’t have any big New Year’s Eve plans. We went out for cheeseburgers, then on the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart to get some champagne… and grapes.
We watched a Law and Order: SVU marathon until about 11:30. I prepared our champagne and grapes and we watched the ball in Times Square begin it’s descent.
4… 3… 2… 1…
We welcomed the new year. A year that will hopefully be significantly better, happier, and easier than the one before.
Then we sat together and shared our wishes as we ate our grapes. I wish the cancer won’t come back never ever again. I wish we get a house. I wish for health and happiness for our friends and family. I wish for a new job and career (Brian). I wish for peace for our service men and women. I wish for good trips and adventures. I wish that the new research confirms it’s safe to get pregnant at 3 years out. I wish for no cancer for anyone we know this year…
What if it’s real? What if our wishes really do float up, away from our lips, out into the universe and reach the ears of someone or something with the power to make a change?
Last year was a hard year. I was challenged in ways that I never imagined. I became the person I always hoped I could be. Relationships were forced out of their comfortable little boxes, leaving me with an army of people who love and support me. No matter the reason for my cancer, my wishes came true. I can see the blessings that it brought to me. I have more love than I know what to do with. Things are shifting. I no longer feel stagnant.
And now it’s time to start anew.
In February I will be done with my cancer treatments. In April I will marry someone that I love so very very much. In the summer we will go on an exciting honeymoon adventure. I will spend time with my loved ones. I will not waste a single moment.
Happy New Year, my friends. May you dream big. Love life. Find joy. Be well.