Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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December 31, 2012

Tammie Hetzer-Womack: Farewell to the year that changed me: 12/31/12

ASHLAND — When the ball drops at midnight we’re promised blissful, champagne-sipped smooches.

Although, on occasion, when Dr. Time spanks the New Year’s baby boy on his tushy, the spoiled brat counters by tendering you a hard-hearted, cool peck on the cheek. He sends you off into lonesome darkness like a castoff college girl concluding a smashed night of vodka cranberries.

New guy laughs to his frat buddies about her, too.

This is my Dear John love letter to you, Master 2012. Tonight, when the winter moon fills the heavens and lovers cuddle and canoodle expectantly to inaugurate a new calendar year, I take my leave of you and won’t look back. Our relations are way too familiar.

My entire life I dreaded your clock ticks. You ushered in the Big 4-0, and basically dropped the Judd Plaza ball on me. I welcomed 2012 covering a police roadcheck on an Ohio River span. But, I staggered on crutches and in cast — still convalescing from a foot break and surgery of six months prior.

As my little 2012 monster dances and sings in springtime showers, I barely toddle, learning to walk again.

Sultry ides of June arrive with optimistic state tennis championship dreams for my daughter — but only a sweaty finalist finish. Despairing tears to dab and a runnerup plaque to polish. Our 2012 cheerless chap pays a tournament visit.

Ah yes, July.

It’s Friday the 13th (go figure) and distressing corporate downsizing leads to hubby work stoppage — more than 18 years in the same position, no warning, this butcher knife-wielding boss hacks him to the unemployment line.

Gentleman 2012 proves nowadays the fiscal cliff might — and likely will — cause all of us to dangle from his precipice sooner or later.

Rocking a few more gray hairs from a lengthy, yet gratefully, successful spousal job search, my August birthday is right around the corner. It’s back-to-school time — senior year for my only child, and my last year to spend with her before college.

Our family faces a school transfer by September. Does 2012 dude have more in store?

There’s lessons learned in a year like this. You wait for it, hope and then pray for providence.

Autumn leaves fall. I make new, God-sent friends, destined daylight in darkness, always true to life and positively persuasive. They won’t accept can’t from me — and force me to try harder.

My once-shattered foot hits the streets to jog. I shower and take off my jammies.

By Thanksgiving, well, in basic terms, I’m just thankful for the windfall of blessings wintertime shares — hot apple cider and meteor showers in chilly celestial skies. Twinkles of a holiday season we wish for — and perhaps a stroke of luck from Mister 2013.

His fateful final digits foretell anything but …

Months of misfortune reverse. Were all the hardships, mishaps and ill luck just a fluke? Maybe the Mayans had wires crossed. I don’t know, but conceivably Doomsday was all about me.

Getting by with a little help from my friends, I sweep off seasons of 2012 dusty disenchantment and finally cracked into my fortune cookie this weekend. It says this: “It matters not what road we take but rather what we become on the journey.”

This is my renaissance year — this is 40. New beginnings coming soon.

All I know is this — when the bell tolls midnight I kiss Wonder Boy 2012 goodbye, bidding adieu to a series of unfortunate events.

I resolve to make our lip smacker undeniably passionate and en français.

Monsieur 2013 — call me maybe.

TAMMIE HETZER-WOMACK can be reached at tammiewomack@roadrunner.net

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