Auld Lang Syne


Auld Lang Syne…What the heck does that mean???  You know how the song goes… “Should old acquaintance be forgot…”  I know it’s sung every New Years Eve when the clock strikes midnight, but the phrase “Auld Lang Syne” makes no sense to me!  Actually, each individual word means nothing to me!  I’ll be completely honest.  Up until recently (10 minutes ago), I actually didn’t know the phrase was “Auld Lang Syne.”  I used to sing it as: “For old ang sigh!”  Come on, admit it, I know many of you are guilty of this!  I’m certain people have sung it as: “For old ang zine”; “For hold ang zyne”; “For old aunt Gzyne”; “For old any sign”; “Foothold and sign”; “For the aunts of mine”! 

I looked each word up in the dictionary.  This is what I came up with:  Auld:  A Scot word for old.  Lang:  A Scot word for long.  Syne:  A Scot word for since.  What???  “Old long since?”  Ok, now I’m totally confused!  I need to keep digging!

I checked through Wikipedia.  Now I’m getting somewhere!  Once you read through all the gobblygoop, Auld Lang Syne is loosely translated as “For the sake of old times!” 

Remember the movie “When Harry met Sally?”  I found that they had a conversation about this.  So I’m not the only one!

Harry: “What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. It means ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot.’ Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean that if we should happen to forget them, we should remember them which is not possible because we already forgot about them?”

Sally: “Well maybe it just means that maybe we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends”

Bottom line… It is about old friends who have reunited and celebrating the friendship with a “cup of kindness”.  Booze!  I’m glad we got that straightened out!  That’s your lesson for the day!  If you’re at a New Years Eve party this year, and the conversation runs dry, use this tidbit to keep the party going!

Can you believe that 2010 is nearly over!  Wow, another year under out belt.  I’m pretty confident that 2010, unlike most previous years, will mark a “special” year in our lives.  It’ll definitely go down in the top 3 of “Years I’d never want to relive!”  

For Patty and me, 2010 has had its amazingly great times as well as low’s as low as they can get.  It’s had many challenges and trials that hopefully a lot of people never have to face.  Looking back over this year, I’ve realized that life is full of daily challenges… mental, emotional and physical.  Some challenges are greater than others, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that they’re still challenges. 

Lance Armstrong beat testicular cancer.  When all was said and done, he said that having cancer “Enriched” his life.  I thought long and hard about that statement and how it applied to Patty and me.  It’s so easy to focus on the negatives in life and sometimes it’s difficult to see the positive.  The last thing we’d want to do is give cancer credit for anything positive!  The truth is, dealing with cancer can change your life in positive and encouraging ways.  Here’s some thoughts on how our lives have been “enriched.”

We’ve learned that life is a privilege, not a given!  It can be taken away from you at any time.  Patty has always been in great shape.  Exercise has always been an important part of her life.  She’s the last one you would think would be diagnosed with breast cancer.  But, it happened.  It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our daily ritual and just take life for granted. We’ll never take anyone or anything for granted again!  Patty and I have talked about this many times.  She said her goal is to make the most out of every day and to always tell people how much they mean to her and how much she loves them!  I’m following her lead!  Don’t sweat the small stuff (it’s all mostly small stuff anyway). 

We’ve renewed our faith in God!  Patty and I were both brought up in Catholic families.  We both went through Catechism and everything that goes along with it.  We both drifted from our faith and, as we call it, have been a “work in progress” over the years.  We’d talked about going back to church for a number of years, but I’m embarrassed to admit it, it always seemed like something “more important” got in the way.  It’s interesting how quickly God comes back in your life when you’re faced with a life threatening disease.  We’ve learned how strong the power of prayer can actually be.  In Patty’s case, she went from an initial diagnosis of the cancer having metastasized and being incurable to localized and curable as a result of the power of prayer.  God let us know that Patty having breast cancer “Was not the end, but the start of a new beginning.” Patty and I now have a relationship with God.  We attend church on Sundays, pray regularly and praise God for the blessings he has given us! God has forever changed our lives!

You know the old saying “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family!”  You’d think that we’d hand-picked each and every one of them!  Patty’s battle has brought us closer to both.    We’re so blessed to have such a great family.   I made mention of this in my Christmas post… We’re so lucky to have such a close relationship with our kids!  All the kids have been so supportive through this trial.  They’ve not only brought us support, but also love and when needed, laughter!  Then take it a step further… our sisters, Patty’s brother, father, aunts and uncles have also been very supportive and given me a hand when times got a little tough!  There’s a bond between sisters that goes far beyond the “Secret order of Women” which I described in an early post.  These three (Patty, Kathy and Dottie) are quite the team!   We’ve learned that life is about people; love them and spend time with them while you can.  If you can’t love them then gently move on. Work at your most important relationships.

Last, but definitely not least, is how this disease has brought Patty and I so much closer.  It hasn’t been easy in the least.  It’s been a drain on both of us.  She’s my best friend and I know I’m hers!  There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do for her and I know there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for me!  In the big scheme of things, I now know that God put us together for a reason.  We have so much love and respect for each other.  That love and respect has grown ten fold over the past nine months.  Who would have thought! 

So, using the “glass half full” theory, I guess there was a lot of positives that came from this trial! 

Here’s to a “quiet” and “uneventful” 2011!  We have so much to look forward to!  Come midnight tomorrow night (if we’re awake) Patty and I will raise a glass to each other as well as Auld Lang Syne!

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2 thoughts on “Auld Lang Syne

  1. Happy NEW Year’s to you both! You make me laugh but thanks for the research and history of that song that all of us wondered, “What the hell?”

    I have to tell you that at the end of 2009 on New Year’s Eve, I stood in my bedroom watching the fireworks and crying hard as I had one of the worst years in my life. I was really sick with now permanent respiratory issues but then my father passed from the very thing I had just been diagnosed with. I always had faith in God (talk His ear off quite regularly) but heard his voice say 2010 was going to be a “good” year. 3 months later my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Good? How could that be? I cried more and more. I was told I was going to have a GOOD year and instead I was facing this with my mom. Patty is very blessed to have a tight relationship with her sisters where I am not. I was, however, blessed that my mother is my best friend and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. As my father called me, “The Cord.” I guess I never quite let go of my mother. Anyways, through the cancer we found good in little things…..she didn’t have to have another blood transfusion after one of the treatments and little things like that. The most significant one was when we went in after her surgery expecting to go through chemo again (she had to have it before surgery) and the doctor told us that she was all clear and just a little radiation was needed. I jumped on it! “We’ll do it!” So, I can totally relate to what you are saying and dealing with. It makes you not take things for granted.

    Now, I laugh at your “quiet” and “uneventful 2011” because that’s EXACTLY what I asked for.

    By the way, there’s a couple sayings that I learned a while back from my old pastor. “Sorrow looks down. Worry looks around but FAITH always looks up!” Also, “The couple that prays together, stays together.” God bless you and watch over you both! Happy New Year to you!!!

    Big hugs –

  2. This is one of my most favorite writings from you. I have so much respect for you two and you have inspired so many of us. I missed midnight, I do believe we feel asleep before 12. Yes, 2011 will be filled with wonderful moments for you and God will be there with you. I too went back to church and found so much peace in prayer. Patty, your name is still on the prayer list in the bulletin. You are surrounded by people who speak your name to our Lord. I am even inviting my darling to go with me as soon as he can walk. It’s true, having church in comment bonds you. Love you both, Sandi and Les

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