A long goodbye

I’m not sure in which specific year I started calling my mom on New Year’s Eve, at the stroke of midnight, to wish her a happy New Years.

Last min REI pre-PCT stop

I think it started when I was in my early twenties. We were discussing New Years traditions and my mom told me that she used to call her mother Necie at midnight to wish her a happy New Years. I decided to make it a tradition with my mother.

Throughout the years since, come rain or shine, time zones and illness, I’ve called my mother at mid-night on New Year’s Eve/New Years day to wish her a Happy New Year.

Sharing photo albums together

This year I’m not going to call my mom at midnight. We checked my mom, Estelle, into a memory care facility in October. My moms life journey now takes her further and further away from her family as her memories fade due to vascular dementia.

Thanksgiving 2019

This year we’re navigating in all new terrain. My mom in a memory care facility, my dad in an independent living facility, and Noelle and I, a bit rudderless without the comfort of a pre-defined holiday season and our own home.

So, here we are, at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Necie, I’ve done my absolute best to carry on the tradition you started with your daughter, my mother, Estelle.

Mom, even though I can’t talk to you this year at midnight, Happy New Year. I’m thinking about you. I wish I could tell you all about our journey this year. It’s been a crazy year. You would have loved hearing about it!

Manning Park

I love you and I miss you.


  1. Anonymous

    I love you lots ❤️ so very sweet.

  2. Briget

    Just found this, and sending sympathy. I used to call my Mom on New Year’s at midnight, too. My favorite was the one after she moved into Independent Living – she was at a fabulous party, and she only had to go downstairs to get there! I was stuck at home with record snowfalls. I was so glad the next year that she’d had that last lovely party.

    I will be checking in from time to time to catch up with your adventures – one of your many armchair athletes – 🙂

    • mcgarveysan

      Thanks for sharing with us Briget. This year end was such a big messy jumble of conflicting emotions. We went to a NYE party with my dad (4-6PM) and I found myself thinking how much my mom would have enjoyed it too.

      Rest assured, we have a few more adventures up our sleeves. Thanks for following along!



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