t’s never paid off for me to make New Year’s resolutions. I think the longest I’ve ever stuck to a resolution was six weeks. That’s when the chocolates would come out for Valentine’s Day and I’d be done. That was about 27 years ago.
So no resolutions for me. I’ll do what I’ve done since then, which is to do the best I can with no promises.
But this year, I’ve decided to try something different. I’m going to offer my wishes for 2008 to those closest to me: family. I’ve weighed the possibilities and figured the potential results are few — they’ll be appreciative to the point of trying to live up to those wishes; they’ll be appreciative but let happen whatever happens; or they’ll think I’m crazy and totally ignore the rest of this column.
Either way, I’ve exerted very little effort.
I’ll start with my daughters, since they seem to have more of the “Awww, that’s sweet” gene.
My youngest, Ashley, lives in Upstate New York. She and her guy, Larry, share a 15-month-old daughter, Tarrah, and a new house.
Larry is one year into a terrific career as an accountant for the local community college, and I hope that continues to blossom. Ashley is close to earning a journalism degree from that college, and I hope she will find even bigger success with writing than I have.
And for Tarrah, I hope her year is filled with wonderment as she begins to talk and absorb more understanding of the things around her. Right now, she’s getting her first real taste of snow, which, to her, is nothing less than a whole new playground.
Next is Terran, who lives here with Bryan and their 2-year-old daughter, Kaylee. That little girl is my buddy, and I think quite a lot of her parents, as well.
My “Proud Meter” can’t get much higher for Terran, and when I see she and Bryan together with Kaylee, they really do seem to be the definition of family. I hope that not only continues, but grows throughout the year. They have a lot of life ahead of them, and much more to learn — but if 2008 is anything like 2007 for them, they will meet every challenge.
My wish for Kaylee this year is that she stops being “Poppy’s baby” and becomes “Poppy’s little girl,” and that she will enjoy all the things that will come her way. Her interest in books was phenomenal in 2007, and I hope that continues this year.
Then there’s Darby, who also lives here with her best friend, a little dog named Bailey.
My hope for Darby is for a year that begins to dismantle a wall that has existed between what her life has become and what it could be. Darby somehow survived surgery to remove a brain tumor near her pituitary gland nearly four years ago. Since then, she has endured almost every conceivable heartache and setback. None of it was fair, but it’s the hand she’s been dealt.
But Darby isn’t defined by a husband who fled or a home and job she couldn’t keep or even the daily struggles to stay ahead of the physical challenges. Although it may come in another form and from another direction, Darby is still Darby.
My wish is that, this year, she re-establishes her place in society with something that she feels gives her life real meaning and purpose; that her days are filled with happiness and friends who see all that Darby has to offer.
And finally, my daughter Shannon. She and her husband Andrew are still in their first year of marriage and live just outside Nashville, Tenn.
They are both firmly entrenched in their careers, but also have hopes of starting a family this year. I hope they realize that dream, and that the joys of parenthood fill their days with adventure, excitement and pride.
And if they aren’t able to begin building that family this year, then I hope they are able to build that fence in the backyard they’ve been wanting — and maybe visit here in North Carolina like I’ve been wanting.
OK, on to the guys, who have more of the “Awww, that’s sappy” gene.
First is Justin, who lives with us and often has his son, Tyler, staying with him.
Justin is, without a doubt, one of the most doting fathers I’ve ever seen. The time he spends with Tyler is obviously precious to both of them, and my wish for them is to continue building that bond. My hope for them in 2008 is for more memories together that neither will forget. And, if it’s in the cards, I hope someone special comes into Justin’s life who fits in WITH him and Tyler, and not in between them.
The last, but certainly not least, is Lathan. He and his wife, Talissa, live just a few blocks away with their three boys — Tate, Walker and Corey.
Nobody has touched my life spiritually as much as this family has, and I hope Lathan and Talissa will continue to forgive past transgressions and realize how good they are for and with each other. And I hope they will set that example for their boys, who are quickly becoming young men with aspirations in many different directions.
I hope Tate gets his license, but isn’t above doing some walking when necessary.
I hope Walker gets to quarterback camp, but isn’t above some humility.
And I hope Corey learns from his older brothers, but isn’t afraid to try things differently.
There’s one more.
I have such high hopes and heartfelt wishes for my wife Evelyn in 2008. She’s just returned to substitute teaching, and I’m hoping the joy she found doing that years ago returns. And though she has worried over every gray hair and more time spent with glasses on and a constant battle remembering where she left things like those glasses, I hope she will feel like the beautiful person with the good heart that the rest of see her as.
But most of all, I hope Evelyn’s husband will eat better, get more exercise, lose some weight and be the best husband he can be.
She deserves nothing less.
— W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 739-4322, Ext. 148, or by e-mail at email@example.com.