Dear wonderful, sad, crazy, surprising 2019,

You started like any other normal new year. I was sitting at our kitchen table, unable to sleep. I was writing about last year and how I wished this year would be a kinder one for us all.

I was listening to the tick tick ticking of our clock on the wall. The new year was only a few hours old and we were home in Sydney. Life was comfortable and I was looking forward to what the coming months would bring.

We don’t have that kitchen table any more.

We couldn’t ship it to England. It was given away to a couple who were about to get married just after we left for London.

You started with our family in one country and now as you draw to a close, we are in another city on the other side of the world. Everything is different here. The climate, the buildings, the people are all very different.

What happened there?

You veered us off into a completely different direction towards the last few months of the year. Please don’t get me wrong. I am happy to be in this new environment. It is exciting. This city has been a grand city for a very long time and I can’t wait to explore it further.

But it was awful getting here. Saying good bye to all the people and places that I’ve called home for so long wasn’t easy.

“It’s a good thing for it to be difficult to leave,” my husband tried to console me. “It means you have made connections.”

It felt like I had cut off some part of me and left it back home.

It will be the new year again in a couple of days. And here we are. About to greet a new year, in a new city far from Sydney. It seems like only yesterday I was out in the summer heat, chatting with friends as the boys played in the swimming pool.

I miss those friends and many others.

I could get upset, but I won’t. I would like to thank you 2019 for the amazing people you put in my life instead.

In your year I started teaching Sunday school. I met a young boy there who wasn’t quite like the others. He was someone we came to know and love.

I met the remarkable Margaret Tung, Maryam Zahid and Hannah Lai. All incredible women who have given much of themselves in the service of others.

This was also the year you stretched my comfort zone. This was the year you had me learning the skills of grassroots political campaigning in support of people who had fled persecution and conflict.

I distributed flyers, asked people to sign petitions, helped organise others to support the cause, helped organise a community forum on the issue that was well attended.

And towards the end, you had me working for a remarkable group of people who cared for the mental health and wellbeing of the very people we were mobilising others to support.

You gave me a lot to do 2019.

And as the year draws to its close, I would just like to say I am grateful for all the opportunities you have given me and the people you placed in my life to love.

I have appreciated it all. Even the sad times.

Here’s to new adventures and new experiences in 2020.

Much love,

Agnes

Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

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