As We Kick Off The New Year, Hold On Tight

Laughing group of three sitting outdoors on a field

“Mama! Stay with me,” my daughter exclaims, as I place a hand on her chest, after I finally finish unloading groceries. “Stay with me,” she repeats, excitedly, grabbing my hand and holding on tight. I want to tell her that I’ll never leave; I’ll stay with her forever. I know that’s not true though… I just lost an old friend last week.

My friend was a good person—fun to be around, hilarious, genuine. He passed suddenly, with no warning, leaving behind his wife who’s due to have their first baby in February. My heart breaks for them. Can you imagine? She was probably asking him to put together the crib. They were probably picking out baby names and starting to plan their new life as a family. Then in an instant, he’s gone.

As we start a new year, I hear so many people swearing away 2016. Instead of wishing it away though, I guess I’d say: hold on tight.

Hold on tight to those you love who are in your life. You’re so blessed to have them with you and you never know what the future holds. And hold on tight to your precious memories.

2017 brings new beginnings. We get to write New Years’ Resolutions. We get to figure out what changes we want to make with our lives or ourselves, and we have the opportunity to make those things happen.

What a gift.

It’s OK to have New Year’s Resolutions like losing weight or saving up more money. But don’t forget: Don’t miss your life, while you’re caught up in the everyday grind.

Don’t skip saying, “I love you”. Say it generously… to your kids, your significant other, your parents, your close friends. Heck, say it to your dog. You’re going to really miss that dog, one day.

Don’t miss a chance to call an old friend you haven’t talked to in years. I did. I let years go by, since I last spoke to my friend who just passed. All I could do now was send some old pictures to his poor wife, and say a little prayer for them.

Don’t miss putting your hand on your toddler’s chest and snuggling for a moment… even if you’re tired after the hustle of work, groceries, the baby, the dishes or whatever else. One day that cute, sometimes-tantrummy, clingy, little rascal will grow up and move out.

May you have many decades of life to share with your kids. May you see them get married one day and see them make their dreams come true. May you meet children’s children. But remember, we don’t know what the future holds for us, either.

This year, I hope you’ll resolve to make time with your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Be present and enjoy your life. Love with your whole heart.

As for me, as my daughter clings to me with both hands, then both feet, I simply close my hand around hers and tell her, “I love you, forever.”

And I hold on tight.

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