Another year has passed by, not so quietly I might add, and this morning I begin to prepare my New Years tradition of making a pot of posole stew. My family indulges me by eating a small bowl of it but I usually end up eating the whole pot- they like posole better than black eyed peas so I can't complain too much.
In retrospect, 2008 was a big year for not only me and my family but also for the United States. The election is probably the biggest news of the year although Israel starting a 'Bomb the shit out of Gaza' campaign right after Christmas is high on the list. As of today, they just killed a high ranking Hamas leader. Good, fuck Hamas.
Getting back on track, I thought about researching and making a grand post about all the significant events that occured this year, for prosperity I suppose, but a quick Google search would save about 4 hours of work and I have posole to attend to. At the beginning of the year I was working 2 part time retail jobs and needless to say was not seeing my family on weekends and holidays very often. I don't know if any of you have ever worked retail but I have a newfound respect for those people. It really sucks as far as the hours go. I worked for 2 big companies and although I truly enjoyed working there but the hours gave me flashbacks to being on the boat. I was not making enough money and joined the ranks of millions of Americans who felt the pinch of the dwindling economy. Were it not for the generosity of my family, I would be in a very different place.
At the beginning of the year my brother-in-law was still recuperating from his car accident caused by his friend who fell asleep at the wheel. The driver and my brother's girlfriend were ok but the driver's girlfriend was killed and my brother suffered severe head trauma and will need constant care for the rest of his life. It has been extremely hard on my wife's side of the family but they are strong and have come a long way. My brother was able to come to both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at my home and could eat by himself, get around by himself, and actually have a conversation with us.
This year really tested me in ways the Navy didn't throughout my 20 years in that canoe club although it truly prepared me for 2008. But I cannot recall a single time in my life where I prayed as much as I have over the last year. Most of my prayers were answered: My brother-in-law has recovered as much as he can. I got a really good full time job that is exactly what I wanted to do when I retired from the Navy. My kids are healthy, although I am still wondering when my prayers of them all getting along for more than 15 minutes will be answered. I have transportation. I have food for my family and a place to live. I have traveled to parts of the world my submarines never did. My wife continues to support me, love me, and even continues to tolerate my 4-year (semi-addiction now) subscription to World of Warcraft. I can say without a doubt that if it weren't for her that I would be a very unhappy man, bitter and empty.
I'll continue to pray- looking ahead to the new year and all the changes that are on the starring block I think we should all pray a little bit more. But if you aren't going to do that, than at least try to be part of the solution, try to be part of something bigger than yourself, try to be something besides an asshole. I think that would make the world a more tolerable place to live in.