This January 2021 has been one of upheaval and fear, and optimistically, renewal and healing.
For much of my personal life, January was a month of traumatizing loss and transcendent celebration.
My mother died January 27 at age 32, a day that shattered my cheerful, innocent six-year-old life. “Mommy” “mama” “ma,” – words I could no longer say or experience, representing intimacy and belonging. Words only mentioned in the letters I wrote to her in my childhood diary, and later in my journal, writing to Dear Eva, her first name. Always struggling for answers, understanding, acceptance.
My father’s birthday was January 6, sadly now an infamous day in this country. Upon returning to live with my father after surviving life in an orphanage for many years, we again celebrated his birthday. Later in life I called him every birthday but didn’t have the soulful voice to sing him happy birthday the way he did to me every year.
He was a cab driver, always working on New Year’s. Was he safe? He said not to worry; there was laughter and celebration in his cab, young people hobnobbing around NYC. Good tips. But I did worry, even though I had been hobnobbing at New Year’s parties. If I arrived home before him, I didn’t sleep until I heard his key in the door. When he lived with me before his death, I didn’t sleep until I heard his snoring or steady breathing.
New Year’s Eve 1986, a new, alluring beginning on the dance floor with Nancy, surprisingly, nervously, stirring dormant feelings. The relationship lasted a euphoric year, until her car accident in January 1987. For eight years January turned dark like the Arctic Circle, forcing me to focus inwardly on the gravity of loss, love and spirit, culminating in writing Everything Special, Living Joy.
New Year’s Eve 1995, another remarkable January. I rediscovered passion, love, a gift from soul. Delectable dancing, laughing, talking; days of revelry turning into a long, abundant, and absorbing life. My disheartening perception of January shifted to gratitude. The cloak of January angst was lifted. This January Bernice and I celebrated 26 years joined in all the richness and heartache of life.
January finally represented life and birth and death and all that is human. All the sadness and passion and exhilaration of living fully, allowing love fully, grieving fully, trusting in the next step – a season of life all rolled into one erratic month.
For this January, and future Januarys, I wish you a hopeful, healthy and peaceful year, believing your life has meaning.
2021 © Roberta S. Kuriloff