Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: New Year (05/09/05)
TITLE: Happy New Year- Continuously
By Cyndie Odya-Weis
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Four new numbers to remember- I couldn't get it out of my mind! It was 12-31-99, the last night of the millennium and no matter the magnitude of the merriment, I kept obsessing on my check-writing future. Never again would I write the 1999- but rather 2000.
We were listening to TV shows from around the world and enjoying time with another family at their lake cottage. So far, Bingo, Royal Rummy, silly hats and noise makers, sparkling grape juice, special appetizers and lots of conversation had filled the time while four adults and six children, ages 6-16 waited for the once in a lifetime opportunity of ringing in the new millennium.
"Just think, some people never get to see a new millennium" pondered my 14-year-old daughter, "or even a new century."
"Yeah, grandpa didn't think he'd live this long," I said, remembering my dad. "I think he knows it's the new millennium, but just doesn't remember how to talk about it," I said, thinking about Alzheimer's that had stolen so many things from him this past decade.
"Just think, some people may see the century change twice, like baby Emily," said the 12-year-old. Our friend's baby had been born that year, a tiny one- pound preemie. She was spending New Year's Eve in hospital NICU unit, the only home she had known so far. Despite the daunting odds, she was a fighter and doing well.
"I suppose she could live to be 101," I said, thankful for her chance for a long and normal life into 2100 or longer.
Strains of "Auld Lang Syne" came from the TV- it was the New Year somewhere.
"I'll see every decade and century and millennium." The voice of the10-year-old was matter-of- fact. "I'll live to eternity," he added, "because I have Jesus in my heart." We all paused.
"I have new life in Him every day, every minute," he went on, and began to sing a praise song with the phrase in it. He sang constantly, knowing that his angelic voice was his gift from God.
"That's for sure," said this mom. "It's great that no matter what, we can get a fresh start every day, every minute with God."
"It's New Year's every minute!!" said the 15 year-old. Let's party! She was never one to keep a serious mood going for very long. I didn't want to let the moment dissipate.
"Look how people around the world are celebrating. Imagine all of the effort people put into the New Year and the different ways that people can celebrate a new start. I wonder if they know that there's new life every day," I pondered.
"Seems like parties and resolutions and are for now, but God is forever," added my friend, Carol. "It's great to celebrate the NOW, and to keep it in perspective."
It was getting close to midnight by then and I wanted to capture the GOD-filled conversation. "Let's each tell something we remember about this past year or this past decade or this past millennium- or this evening," I suggested, "and by then it will be midnight."
The next 10-15 minutes was a cacophony of voices as we tried to take turns. I remember kind words about grandpa, whose last New Year's eve and baby Emily, whose first one were strikingly similar- full of hope for new life! We heard about fresh starts in school and with friendships. The teenagers shared hopes and dreams for the future, the moms shared parenting and career goals. We all laughed and gave words of support. As for the ten-year-old, his memory was poignant.
"I'll always remember that every minute can be a fresh start because if I mess up, Jesus gives me a chance to try again and I know that if Jesus gives me that chance, my mom and dad will and my friends will too."
Happy New Year- continuously!
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