I've just completed my fourth year of survival. (HIGH FIVE!)
The fifth year has just begun. (Hi, Five!)
This is like a mini-jubilee (one-tenth of a jubilee, to be exact). I've been thinking about what I want to do in this year.
Another Messiah performance is an easy pick. That's coming up on the 20th, and hopefully again on Easter Sunday. During auditions for the 2006 Easter concert, my brother Jim predicted that four years later people would see me coming to the audition and say, "Here comes Sister Oakes again, saying this may be her last year for Messiah." At the time I appreciated his confidence, but I thought it was pretty ambitious. However, here we are. In fact, after my last MRI, Jim called me and pretended to be from the Messiah Soloist Auditions Fraud Department, investigating allegations of a person faking a brain tumor to get some stage time.
Another book would also be nice. I just received a contract from a publisher for Jake the Puppy and Emma the Cat, based on a poem that I wrote when my daughter was a baby. In the spirit of the jubilee, maybe I need to free my other half-finished manuscripts from bondage. And maybe the stuff in my closets, too.
Being here for my daughter's fifth birthday next summer is very high on the list. Family vacations, reunions with the "gaggle" and other fun ideas have surfaced as candidates for this year of celebration.
As always, the passage of a milestone reminds me that I have received the gift of life, and like anything I receive, I want to use it faithfully and gratefully for something good. Above all, I pray that I will use this new year to help make manifest the mercies of God.