Wow, you have been a pain in the ass! Seriously, what was wrong with you? Clearly you were not meant to be a summer of leisure, of long drives and grand vacations. Almost every attempt at enjoying you was met with resistance or road blocks. You, apparently, were meant to be a summer of challenges that needed to be overcome, and loss that needed to be survived.
I had envisioned a summer of long days on the beach, trips to fun places, time to visit family far away and boat rides at sunset. But no, that was not your destiny. Instead you were a summer of hard work, late nights full of homework, and unexpected emergency dental visits (one still coming up at the end of this weekend, thanks). Whether it was me personally facing a challenge, or someone who I love and was supporting, you didn’t go a week without throwing something at us! You were job problems and bills and friendships on the rocks! You were a summer of sitting in doctors’ offices, or hospital waiting rooms. You were a summer of unexpected loss and saying good-bye to folks far too young to have left this world.
Oh, we’ve had bad summers before. You aren’t unique that way. It’s just that, unlike other seasons we seem to put so much hope into you. Maybe we just expect too much of a few warm, sunny months in the middle of year. Or maybe we are always trying to recapture those carefree summers of our childhood, filled with days of long bike rides with no destination, and evenings spent doing nothing but watching stars and catching lightning bugs.
You were not without your good points, and having learned to count my blessings years ago, especially during difficult times, I kept track of the good! Summer of 2014, your weather was fabulous! While never getting too far out-of-town, I’ve enjoyed your warm days, cool nights and beautiful breezes. You were important projects accomplished. You were good times spent with my children and my aging mom who I am so blessed to still have! You were wonderful meals and plenty of good music. You were romantic walks on the river front. You were long talks with girlfriends over glasses of great wine. You were friends around a fire in a back yard in the middle of the city. I’ve savored every one of those evenings spent with those I love.
So long Summer of 2014! No, you were not grand vacations. You were certainly not carefree. Yet, while you were loss, big and small, you were also love. Often, during the most difficult of times we are blessed with the realization that all the good we’ve put out into the world over the years really does come back to us, when we need it most. You were important lessons, oh those damn lessons! You were a time of reorganizing priorities, of purging the negative and reaffirming the positive in our lives.
You were the stuff that makes us who we are, deep down. You were the stuff that makes us stronger, whether we wanted to be or not! You were the stuff that proves friendships, reaffirms the best of relationships, and makes us oh so grateful for this mess called life, every single bit of it!