Typically on New Year's Eve, we gather at either my sister's or brother's house to celebrate the past year and ring in the new. It is always a fun time as we pass out hats, horns and confetti to the kids and indulge ourselves with merriment at the prospect of seeing another new year filled with joy and love.
But this year, one of my daughter's dearest friends was in the hospital, recovering from complications from her December 1st appendectomy.
It was nearly 8:30 when we stood outside her room, waiting as her
mother, one of my good friends, talked with her father and the nurse. Her twin brother and my son were also with us and we stilled the laughter bubbling over as we anticipated her joy at having New Year's Eve visitors.
I wish I had a picture that showed the smile that spread across her face as she saw my daughter walk through her hospital room door. But then I would've missed the moment. They are very close - these two girls - and it is a friendship that is a blessing to them both.
Our two families are connected in a way that never fails to warm my heart. Our sons are in the same class and play basketball together, sharing their friendship since we moved here in 2001.
Cathy and I both work at the school and have shared many moments of laughter and togetherness with our children and their activities, and she is a friend whom I value and treasure. Even our husbands have a history. When my husband, James, was a child, he lost his home and all his belongings in a fire. Cathy's husband, Jim, gave him a new truck that he had been wanting, unknowingly prefacing a family friendship that would resume in the years ahead.
We donned silly hats, watched the celebration at Time's Square and brought in the New Year with sparkling grape juice, lots of hugs and shining confetti. It was a very special night that will long be remembered.
But then, with friendships likes these and a smile like that, where else would we be on this New Year's Eve?