This Is The New Year

“So this is the New Year and I don’t feel any different.” Death Cab always pops into my head on New Years. Usually, I agree with them, but this time is different.

2011 had its ups and downs. Really high points and really low ones.

The one thing I feared the most happened to me this past summer. The fear of losing someone close to me. I have never had a person die that I was close to and loved so much.

I always said if it happened to me, I couldn’t live anymore. Here I am going on with my life with someone missing – my great grandma, or Nonna, as we all called her. She was 97 years old. I know most say, “You should feel lucky to have had a great grandparent. Most people don’t even have a chance to meet their grandparents.” I can’t even count how many people have told me that. Of course I feel lucky. There is just so much more I wanted her to see in my life, my sisters’ lives and my cousins’ lives. I name them because we’re the youngest; she got to see her children and their children grow. We won’t share the same experiences with her that they were able to.

I am the oldest great granddaughter. There are just a few important things I wanted her there for – coming to my wedding, seeing my first born, seeing my dreams come true (some not even close to happening). Things that she would have loved to see. I wanted her to critique my boyfriend/fiancé/husband. She always said, “You have to meet the family before you marry.” One of the many important lessons she has taught me. I mean you, have to spend your life with those people, too. You’d better like them and hopefully they’ll be cool enough to babysit your kids every once in awhile.

I’m writing this because the holidays just ended. And like many others, mine was missing someone special. There was hardly any screaming in Italian, no one was mad about the food choices and no one covered in wrapping paper. The list goes on about what was missing. Thankfully, my mom made us all an awesome bear to remember her by. Which was the best Christmas present I got by far. It was made with all the clothes she wore most often.

Every New Year’s Eve, as soon as the Times Square ball dropped, my Nonna would start crying. We’d all ask, “Nonna, why are you crying?” And she would say, “Imma live to see another year.” I would always stay home for New Year’s just to see her tears of joy. She never reacted this way on her birthdays. Living another year was not as special as living to see the world turn another year older.

It was New Year’s Eve. The countdown had begun.  Everyone ecstatic while shouting the numbers as they counted down. “Ten..Nine..Eight..Seven..Six..” It was like slow motion, but not the good kind, like Marissa waiting for Ryan to show up. (The OC reference, for those who don’t know.) It was gut wrenching just for those few seconds because at the end of that countdown was the beginning to a new year – a full year – without her.  “Five..Four..” I held back my tears. “Three..Two..One..Happy New Year!!” I snapped back and threw a smile onto my face as the first person came to hug and kiss me on the cheek wishing me a Happy New Year.

So I know this happens to everyone, but I never had it happen to me. I already have some moments that happened in 2011 that I’m proud of that I didn’t get to share with her- most actually involving Hello Giggles. Here’s to 2012 and many more awesome moments that will make her proud!

So this is the New Year and I feel the same yet so different.

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