The year is finally closing out -– and what a year 2007 has been. Sure, every year has its ups, downs, thrills and defeats. But somehow this year’s tensions seemed to set the tenor for everything.
As the newsroom prepared our yearend packages to publish this past weekend, the economy led most discussions -– except when talk turned to the war in Iraq. That stayed in a category all its own, somehow at the core of everything else happening around us. And, as always, sports, movies and TV brought out much-welcomed lively banter.
To compile our local lists, reporters, editors and photographers focused on their beats and their top stories in 2007. The compilations dominated Sunday’s newspaper and Bradenton.com, and were definitely among the top-viewed stories online yesterday -– and they remain among the most popular today. In my own personal review, I found an encouraging thread throughout -– not just the hope for a better 2008, but efforts throughout the past year to take a painful or tragic event and use it to find a solution.
And then I came to the “Final Farewells.” Our news editors know I treasure that page each year, commemorating those who died in the past 12 months. It’s humbling to see the legacies each person left, to take time to remember. This time, though, my heart stopped as I turned to Page 9A in Sunday’s edition. Somewhere in that blur of words, I knew all over again why so much had changed for me this year. I had bid a final farewell to my Dad, who had always been my vision, my inspiration, my foundation.
I know too many friends who lost a parent this year. But in each condolence, I heard the joys shared in a lifetime. One of those friends noted in her Christmas card that she hadn’t ever really felt like an adult until she lost a parent. How oddly true…
That might be why I know I'm finally making a realistic New Year’s resolution: to never say farewell to Dad and his dreams for me.