... needless to say, 2004 was a banner year for me. The plusses outnumbered the minuses by a tremendous margin, which has not been the usual tendency for a long time. That's not to say some great things haven't happened to me in the recent past, but there was a close number of bad things, so when I took account at the end of the year, I could usually say, "well, at least I didn't lose an appendage" ... or something equally clever. Or not; your results may vary.
But as I sit here and type this (and I've spent a LOT longer thinking about what to say than you'll spend reading it, trust me), I can only think of ONE negative thing that happened in 2004 ... unfortunately it was for almost the entire year. I've spent it away from Shelley, and as of February 14th, Ryan.
Thankfully, technology (and my ability to use it) minimized that... or at least reduced the impact. Cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging, webcams, FedEx, etc ... I've got a webcam in Ryan's room, and I can check in on him whenever the urge hits me, and the network allows. As I've lamented here on more than one occasion, my connection to the Internet is tenuous at best, non-existant at worst. Sometimes I get really lucky and catch moments like this:
Most of my viewings aren't quite as memorable or meaningful, but that one speaks volumes.
So, just like last year, I vowed to never spend another Christmas away from home. The last time I said that, Shelley was alone, and didn't have such a huge reminder of me (other than her belly) around the house... this year she had a miniature version of me, but I don't know if that made it easier or harder for her. It's a subject we haven't really discussed yet... by mutual unspoken agreement.
Anyway, the whole point of this post is to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! And to thank you all for the love and support you've shown me and my wife and son while I've been away. I get asked all the time, "Isn't it hard to be away?" ... and of course it is... but having friends and family that care really make it closer to being bearable.
Thanks again! Love to all!