2017 has been a year of determination, growth, trials, defeat, victory, and loss. I’m thankful for my family who has been there with me through some really rough times, I’m thankful for the people in our community who have come out to support live music at our little venue, I’m thankful for our son who is growing into a wonderful human being, I’m thankful for all of the people in his life that are helping him do that, I’m thankful that I get to hunt with an amazing bird, and I’m thankful for my husband, who sticks it out with me. I’m thankful for SO many other things, too, despite the fact that this year has left me more sad than joyful.
She-Ra got herself a squirrel late this morning. We had no intention of hunting today, but I spotted several on the far side of our property from the library window, so we couldn’t very well let an opportunity like that pass us by. She had the squirrel pinned at the head when I reached her, but still sustained a bite. Once I helped her dispatch it, I got her tethered, picked up the squirrel and her with my gloved hand, and Bronson threw down the lure. She transferred from the squirrel immediately. I was so proud of her. She got a full belly from the meat on the lure and we got dinner (sometimes we save the meat for She-Ra to feed to her later, and sometimes we eat it).
The first person I wanted to message when we got back in the house was my bestie. My heart sank the second I had the thought. My bestie passed away a couple days after Thanksgiving, but she would have laughed at me for getting a squirrel in five minutes at the house after hunting for hours in frigid temperatures on another property and coming up empty-handed just days before. I miss her, and there is really no word to describe how much I miss her, but in those moments when I’m feeling the void she left here, I think about how happy she is in The Good Place and how amazing it must be to be with Jesus.
I think anyone who has experienced loss feels that void, and as time passes, is reminded of that void at the strangest of times. Perhaps though, it’s really not that strange. When someone who was part of our everyday life leaves us, we’re going to remember them during those everyday times– when I book a show I know she’d love, when Gunner does something funny, when I’m shopping and find a steal on jeans in her size, when I’m making fried green tomatoes, when my bird gets a squirrel I know she’d be proud of.
Here’s hoping 2018 is a year of healing, and while Bronson and I are enjoying our buttermilk-fried squirrel after Gunner goes to bed here on New Year’s Eve, here’s hoping we can toast the victories, accept the defeats, and honor the losses. Let’s bring in the New Year with hope and a smile. Happy New Year to each and every one of you!