Auld Lang Syne – “I’ll Be Seeing You… “ Hold Your Loved Ones Close This Year


I don’t yearn for the past, nor desire to have it back. Not a bit. You see, God’s already done a great work in me and continues on with needed changes, of which I anticipate the polished results. I do pay an occasional visit to the days of yore, to honor and cherish the people I’ve known and loved. Listening to the old song “I’ll Be Seeing You… In all the old familiar places,” always reminds me of the impressions people leave behind, some subtle, some bold.

I believe we are the sum of the characters in our life. They mold our capabilities, our service, our fears. So on the eve of yet another New Year, I’ll raise a glass of virgin cheer in honor and remembrance of those I love and look forward to seeing one day again.

As a small child I raised a glass of juice, happy to be awake at midnight, confused why the others were crying.

As a teen, I raised a glass of the alluring forbidden champagne, thinking only of whom I’d like to kiss me and who had better not try.

As a young wife and mother, I raised a glass of bubbly, tears streaming in love for the crazy but loving family around me.

As a mature woman I raised several glasses in regret, remorse and hope for a better year.

As a sober woman, I was back to juice, knowing well, the reason for the tears.

This coming year I hope to hold my loved ones close, well aware how fragile life can be. A quick look back… a glance forward… a long savoring linger in today.

To Nana: (Elsie)

Wise beyond her exit age of 95. She knew the power behind small gestures given consistently. Like licorice ropes, deck of cards and stickers received in the mail. I’m eternally grateful for her secret prayers for my salvation. Guess what Nana… it worked! I miss your exuberant welcomes, the phrase “Bless your heart,” the smell of juicy fruit gum laced with blue carnation toilet water. Mostly, I miss knowing you really liked hanging out with me.

To Mom: (Dema)

Remembered first always for physical beauty… auburn hair, long, graceful limbs, soft brown eyes… old movie star glamor. Her breathtaking outer loveliness, birthed from deep within by a heart of service for others… her children, husband, neighbors, friends and strangers. She modeled a grand spirit of forgiveness. Some days I ache for her smile.

To My Brother: (Danny)

Gone too soon at age 52. Known for extreme character. The joker, prankster, life of the party. To those in close proximity, known also for a big heart. A heart surrounded by a pack of underdogs, accepting his perpetual helping hand. I miss telling you to leave me alone a zillion times, your zeal for life, and that stupid voice with the bad Asian accent. I’m forever grateful for the intense time we had before you parted sharing scriptures and God stuff, side by side, like we used to play Canasta and Monopoly. I expect when we meet again, you’ll jump out from behind the pearly gates, startling me with that familiar “bahahaha!”

To Dad: (Mac)

Big voice, personality and nose… all perfect and belonging together. Would travel cross country to tell a joke if he thought you might laugh. Loved my mother, our country, fried chicken, labor unions. I miss the man you revealed in your last days, the softer, deeper man of thought. I’m grateful for the strong work ethic you instilled and for your drive to support your family, no matter what the cost.

Celebrate the characters in your life, today. Tomorrow they might not show up for the party.

6 thoughts on “Auld Lang Syne – “I’ll Be Seeing You… “ Hold Your Loved Ones Close This Year”

  1. I was all of 5 maybe when Gramma Wockner passed. About 10 When Granpa Wockner passed. I have memories of him but not much. My Auntie Merle passed too during this time. So as a youngster I started experiencing the seeming disappearance of family. Then at 13 my best friend Donnie Porter died in my arms. His heart had exploded basically. I didn’t know that before I was 18 4 more fairly close friends would die, a few more family memebers too. As I grew older obviously memories remained within me of these departed ones but I basically buried them as I had no way to compartmentalize them. DID I SPELL THAT RITE??

    As I entered sobriety in 1990 death had take some others, including my Father, I knew and was fond of but I was too far into my sickness to barely notice. Being sober brought these people back to life for me. Memories, dates, events all started coming to mean something. I had to find a way to understand it all. Then Laura’s boy Nic, who I had been w/ for 12 of his 16 years was killed.

    I heard too many reasons for this tragedy. Mostly absurd, as I remember them today, coming from people only trying to comfort and help but none knowing that kinda pain. Especially Laura’s. My first sponsor Jerry Carlson went too. A larger than life character to and for me. Then my Mother. A few others since.

    As I grow older I see it more and more. Our reward for living is to watch others pass??? God I hope not. Like my best friend Donnie’s headston says. “Those Who Pass Live In The Hearts Of Those They Leave Behind”.. They all live within me and I am so fortunate that they do. My mom & pop are always passing thru my mind, Donnie and Nic too. I have made my peace w/ death. Even my own when it comes.

    I do that by His grace and promise of a better life once we leave this one……

    1. Ray
      I cannot even imagine what your losses would have felt like as a child. The worst, I’m sure was losing Laura’s son.
      Thank you for sharing your heart and wisdom. I am so with you on His grace and promise being the only way we can keep going.
      I’m glad to have friends like you… friends that don’t say the stupid “fix it” stuff but instead shed a tear and hang in there with you.

    1. Meghan
      I wish I could tell you a great plan for publishing. Truth is, I find that stage quite overwhelming. The basic plan I have in place is this: 1. finish book 2. build readership on blog 3. pursue every possible traditional publisher 4. self-publish 5. don’t give up

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