What can be better than bringing in the new year with favorite friends, good food, and fireworks. As is becoming my tradition, we went over to Tavis’ and Diego’s house for New Year’s Eve. Not only do they have the best roof for viewing the fireworks, but their house always feels like a great big hug. And with the new kitty, there is always loads of entertainment.
Tavis’ parents are here for a month all the way from Alaska. Mom is here for several months and has never experienced an Uruguayan New Year. And I just wanted to be around my favorite people to bring in the year that is already destined to be an uphill battle.
Tavis and his family had spent the day driving back from the beach, so Mom and I made dinner – chili, pasta salad, and cabbage salad. It didn’t really go together, but that is what I had wanted for New Years Eve. Then Tavis bought a lovely cheese spread and his mom had brought homemade contraband from Alaska. It was all delicious, even if we had to add salt to everything because Mom is still afraid to use the Uruguayan salt after an unfortunate eggplant parmesan event.
We told stories, asked Diego questions about Uruguay, and shared our love of food and wine. Mom got to try two different bottles, a treat since she refuses to drink a glass in my house while I can’t. Not sure why. If she were the one sick, I would be slugging the wine right and left. But I digress.
Just before midnight, we headed to the roof. And that is where the magic happens. I have been talking up the Montevideo fireworks for weeks now. And I am so glad that they didn’t disappoint. Mom was flitting around the roof with childish wonder just as I had done my first year, and not going to lie, this year as well. There are no rules in Uruguay, so fireworks fly from all areas of the city and beach. Even off of rooftops (which I am pretty sure there are rules about that and someone will get a letter from their building at some point, but ya ta.)
It was one of those times that I was really glad that my mom was here to experience with me.
I will say it’s weird knowing the year already…well at least the first five months of the year. In typical New Years fashion, you make your resolutions, drink a little too much champaign, and look forward to the fresh start and adventures to come. In the states, my new years consisted of parties with friends, a solid hangover on the first, and right back to school on the 3rd, all of us praying for snow days so we could have just one more day of vacation. Last year in Uruguay, my new year led to a life-changing solo trip to Brazil. Before my diagnosis I had a trip to Argentina and Bolivia all planned out. New Years was exciting and adventure filled.
But as I said, this year the plans are already set. Not only is champaign not allowed, but I already know every chemo treatment, every scan, every blood test. The “adventures” will be my Russian Roulette of side effects, figuring out when I feel crappy and when I feel good, and cramming in as much as I can into the good days. When you get the Big C right before the new year, there are no plans to really look forward to. It is all about walking into the wind, uphill toward getting the cancer free summit. As people keep telling me, it is one day at a time. Although I am still planning my Bolivia trip when this is all over as well as my big ass “I’m done with Chemo / Fuck cancer party,” my biggest goal this year is to be mindful of each day. They won’t all be good. Some will be downright shitty. But I want the good days to overshadow all of the bad. I want them to be filled with being present with people. I want them filled with stories and conversations and laughter. So that when I look back on 2019, when I write the end of 2019 post I will be filled with minimal events and copious minuscule, maybe even forgotten moments of sharing time with people. And I must say, I am already off to a great start!