Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve 2009

It is New Years Eve. The end of 2009 and the beginning of a new decade. A night to celebrate happy times and to look forward to better ones. New Years eve is a contrast of emotions for me.

1994 was the New Years Eve that I fell in love with Byron. I had met him on a holiday that August and thought he was sexy and funny but celebrating New Year in cold Edinburgh was when I really fell for him. Memories of frosty breath, tartan kilts and the excitement of youth that nothing can dampen.

Fast forward a few years to when I was happily married and pregnant with my second baby, Rhiannon. It was 1999. The eve of a new millennium. My grandmother whom I adored was ill and fading fast. Everyone told her how wonderful it would be for her to live in two centuries. She told them it held no appeal. I was in Ireland and waiting for the call from my Mum at the hospital. She died at 5.30pm. While the rest of the world cheered in the new century we tried to smile and toast my wonderful Gran but our eyes overflowed.

New Years Eve 2000. My brother flew home from Australia and once again I travelled to Ireland with Byron, Sian and our baby Rhiannon. We pretended it was the eve of the millennium again and we had a wonderful family meal. My parents gave each of us kids a set of two Waterford crystal glass champagne glasses. We toasted our health and our futures and promised to use the  glasses every New Years eve no matter where we were.

New Years eves since have been quieter affairs. Since we moved to Australia in 2005 Byron and myself have celebrated together by having a nice meal after the kids went to bed and going for a dip in the pool at midnight. This year my sister Carrie is with us. My parents in Ireland will be boarding a plane in the early hours of New Years Day and starting the long 24 hour flight to join us. My Dad has not been very well over the last year. It will be great to see them both but it will also be very emotional as we know we cannot take for granted how his or anyone else's health might be by this time next year. When my Dad makes a toast he always uses this old Irish saying: 

"Go mbeirimid beo ar an am so arís"  

It means "May we all be alive and well the same time next year" 

Just writing this upsets me because it is more poignant now than it ever has been. My wish for this New Year is that it will bring peace and happiness to our family and to yours. That we will all live every day like it is our last. That we will cherish our kids and take time to smell the roses. That we will love and be loved and that on this day next year we will look back on 2010 and smile knowing that it was a good one.

Happy New Year everyone. 

12 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Gina... beautifully said! I hope you enjoy your visit with your family. Happy New Year. May we all be alive and well the same time next year. Oh those Irish do have a way with words!! God Bless your family.

  2. Happy New Year to you all may 2010 bring you continued health and happiness. all our love from Julie, Huw, kerry & Louise xxxxx

  3. "Go mbeirimid beo ar an am so arís". Wonderful....I love the toast! Your New Year's wish is lovely....I wish the same for you and yours.

  4. Heres to a happy healthy 2010 for you all. lots of love Josie, Stef, Charlotte and Ross xxxxxx
    Far away in miles but close in our heads and hearts. xxxxxx

    Allowed a little sentiment today Mrs B xxx Have fun with your mum and dad.

  5. looking forward to the skinny dip pictures!!!! lol xxxx

  6. Happy New Year, Gina! Hope 2010 is a fantastic one for you and your family. I look forward to reading about it here!

  7. Happy New Year to you Miss Gina! I hope you enjoy your family and my hat is off to your Dad who is traveling such a long way to see you when his health is ailing. Take a swim for me too.

  8. Grand thoughts for the new year!! Have a great time with your famiy!!

  9. Gina, your words are beautiful and ring such truth. Thank you for sharing your heart with us! Happy 2010 to you and your entire family. May you be blessed and filled with joy, laughter, good health, and togetherness!
    We must exchange addresses to send Christmas cards next year. How how i love getting and receiving them! This year, like you said, it seems either people have made no time to send cards or have taken for granted a tradition. Either way, it made me sad to only receive a few this year. I sure did take hundreds of photos of our children and spend lots of time choosing a style card to send to our 45 beloved family and friends. Oh well....I will continue the tradition no matter how few I get in return!!
    Talk to you soon!


  10. You said that so beautifully, Gina! We can't take anything for granted, really. My grandmother is in a nursing home since she broke her hip in Nov. She won't be staying there forever--just for a few months for physical therapy. But it has made me realize how frail our time together can be.

    Thank you for your congratulations, too! We are excited! And of course, I will be sharing every moment possible on my blog!

    Happy New Year!

  11. Ah Gina, thats lovely. Glad you have family around you. Happy new year to you all.

  12. What a lovely post! It makes me want to cry too with so much love for your family in every part of it.

    I wanted to say thank you for the generous and thoughtful comments you've left on my blog in 2009. Although I don't always have time to respond, your comments are appreciated more than you know.

    I hope your 2010 is filled with good times and great opportunities for making dreams come true.