Artificial as year endings/year beginnings are, this one has had me pensive and sometimes sad or morbid. This will be the first year (in my lifetime) without my brother, who died in June. It will be a year with the dog to whom we gave his name (a decision that seemed right at the time and isn't readily changed, except via nicknames).
I am, more than on any New Year's Eve I can clearly remember, aware that the coming year -- like any year -- could bring the loss of people I love, or things I value.
But for now, the dog doesn't need my care at the moment, my older daughter is at a friend's and not nauseous enough to call for pickup, my younger daughter is playing video games with a friend, my husband is writing a story, the house is cozy, there's pumpkin bread in the kitchen, and I am grateful for all of it.