Our best friends were having a New Year's Eve party. James really wanted to go and I thought I did too. We got all dressed up and were riding across town to our friends' home. Out of the blue I just started bawling my eyes out. I had no warning this was coming, it just happened. I suggested to James that maybe we shouldn't go to the party. He thought it would be better once we got to the party. Running through my head over and over that the year was ending, we were leaving it behind to begin another one. Wait one minute. This made me think that if I was leaving 1975 behind me, then I was also leaving James, Jr. behind. I began to feel guilty. I began to panic. I didn't want a new year to replace any part of my dear baby James and what had happened to us. I was so afraid he would be forgotten, left behind. I felt like perhaps he saw us as leaving him behind. It was like losing him all over again! Stop the clock from the count down!
I calmed down enough to go into the party, but my face had been washed by tears and it showed. I got into the punch right away to put me into a party mood. Really??? That never happened as much as I tried. We left right after midnight.
My son would have been 7 months old that night. We should have had to get a baby sitter to go out. When we got home, there was no baby sitter to pay and no baby. Just a lonely home with James and myself. It was so depressing. Would there ever be relief of this cancer called grief?
We went antiquing the next day with a couple we were good friends with. There was a great antique show and auction in Virginia that day. Just getting out and exploring the VA countryside was a brief outlet. I don't remember if we bought a single thing, but it was nice to get out. Those friends dropped what they were doing to go out with us that day. I'll never forget them for that. We remain close friends to this very day.
So whether I liked it or not, 1976 came and thus began a New Year. It would prove to be both rough, hard and kind to us.