My song today is ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (The New Year's Anthem). It is a re-write of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ by Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns. The song was first written in 1788 and published in ‘James Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum in 1796. No New Year’s Eve can pass without the singing of and group dancing to this seasonal song.
Sheila and I wish you all a Happy New Year from the bottom of our hearts. May 2020 bring you as much health, hope and happiness as is possible. Never allow yourselves to stray too far from honesty or humanity. Stray not from the sacred heart of Christ’s eternal love, or forget the compassion of St. Francis for the protection of all animal life that surrounds us, or the sheer love of this green earth and the blue planet as exuded by Sir David Attenborough.
The New Year allows us the opportunities to stop doing some old things and to start doing new things. Let 2020 be a time to get excited about the future. The past won’t mind if you leave it behind; it will always follow your shadow. But in your year of measured change, don’t forget, as you are creating a new you, that there’s a whole lot about the old you that’s well worth keeping! This is a time of year to ring out the false in us and bring back in the truth; a time to be at war with one’s own vices and at peace with one’s family, friends and neighbours.
We should start all New Years as a decent person and end it as a better one. Let us become more circumspect in our own character and dealings with others, as the first step towards positive change and getting somewhere new, is deciding that you are not prepared to stay where you currently are. Remember that nobody is ever too old to learn, nor is it ever too late in one's life to change for the better. One is never too old to dream a new dream or not to have learned enough in life to resolve an old one. No one misses forever, the opportunity to be what you might have been, what you were meant to be or shall become! We are the authors of our own destinies and the masters of our own fate; we are the pen and compass who decides how the story ends and in what circumstances.
Sheila and I pray that we all grow to possess the strength and determination to stay true to oneself and faithful and just to all that is good and wholesome in this world. Give us the character to exercise the requisite amount of compassion to love the least likable among us and grant us the forbearance and forgiveness to replenish one’s well of love daily, and never be too hard on self and others. Endow each of us with the wisdom to know when we have hurt or wronged another, and to be big enough to apologise for our trespass and trampling on their tender feelings.
I enter 2020 with the certain knowledge that I will require another operation to remove cancer that has spread to my neck. This operation will probably be followed by more courses of radiotherapy. Hopefully, health service pressures at this time of year will enable me to be operated on successfully before the arrival of next spring. That will make six operations to remove cancer (and replace a dislocated shoulder) under a full anesthetic that I have received over the past twelve months, plus twenty sessions of radiotherapy. I am blessed, however, in my belief that my time to leave you and my loved ones is not in the coming New Year.
It is planned that I am to be operated on by two consultant surgeons; one of whom is supposed to be one of the best neck surgeons in the country. I have been truly blessed to have received the finest of medical care and attention since I first developed a terminal blood cancer in early 2013, followed by cancerous warts in my bottom and skin cancer in my nose, forehead, and recently neck. I wish any other person with an illness of mind or body to resolve to see today through and tomorrow dawn.
I am eternally blessed, however, by being married to the kindest and most unselfish woman any husband could ever hope to marry. Sheila’s true beauty lies not in her perfect facial-bone construction and stunning figure and looks, but in the goodwill of her mind, the warmth of her heart and the compassion of her soul.
I enter 2020 with my favourite New Year quotation that reminds each of us that to continue to fit in with the newness of each day and the fast-changing world around us, we also have to be prepared to change with events of the time and the experience of the moment, if we wish to remain true to oneself:
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.” T.S. Eliot.
Love and peace Bill xxx