December 31, 2019-
It was a time of loss.
The decade took Penny, my wife of twenty-eight years and nine months, both her parents Norm and Ruth (“Bunny”), two of her aunts Averala and Helen (“Honey”), two of her cousins, Tom and Jean, and a cousin-in-law, Richard.
It took my maternal uncles, Carl and James, Carl’s two children-Keith and Carla, and our cousin Ronnie.
It did not spare my father’s side of the family, either, taking Uncle George, Aunt Adeline (“Sissy”) and her son Bob.
It brought several others to the Life Beyond, friends all: Christie Serino, Drew Crotty, Larry Silipigni, Alan and Rick Belyea, from my hometown of Saugus, MA; Alison Sipes, from Indiana; Mildred “Mildoo” Forney, who, along with her daughter, made my visits to Oley, PA an annual pleasure; my American Legion comrades Bob Wittmann, Dennis Young, John Mortimer, Sue Chambers, Al Tercero-among several; a host of Baha’i fellows- Ali and Violette Nakhjavani, Nancy Coker, John Cook, Firuz Khazemzadeh, Avid Navidi, Dick Sloman, Moses Nakai, Russ Garcia, Chester Kahn, Roy Dewa, Tom Smith, Keith John Manybeads.
It was a time of change.
It saw me get out of town, leaving Phoenix, after ten years. Prescott, once more, became Home Base.
It saw our son, Aram, follow in the footsteps of many of his forebears, on both sides of the family and enter the service of his country, serving in the United States Navy, for nine years.
It saw him enter into matrimony. Having returned to Korea, the land of his birth, as part of his service, Aram met and married Yunhee, a superlative addition to our family.
It saw us honour two of my nieces, who preceded him down the aisle, also bringing spouses who add luster to the Boivin brood.
It was a time of growth.
It brought in fourteen new members of my Grandniece/nephew Club and some new additions to my Greater Tribe.
There were a couple of good years, working full time, at Prescott High School, and several others spent substitute teaching.
The decade brought me the joy of giving back- with the American Red Cross, Slow Food, school garden projects, and the Farmers’ Market, as well as American Legion Post 6 and the Baha’i community. It has brought me many new friends, members of my Tribe, who consistently make this life a thing of beauty.
Then, there were those journeys- annually to see family, on the East Coast, in the South and in the Midwest, which is never “Flyover Country” to me; my first solo visit to Europe, partly on my father-in-law’s behalf and partly because I wanted to connect with the lands of my ancestors; I returned to Korea, to fully embrace my son’s wedding and to recap our life in Jeju; Hawaii welcomed me, in advance of the Tiger Cruise from Honolulu to San Diego, as Aram & crew returned from a Pacific Rim deployment; I fulfilled some of the dreams I shared with Penny, and explored the Pacific Northwest, a bit of British Columbia; southeast Alaska and eastern Canada; California, Nevada, Texas and Colorado were constantly seeing my face-largely to spend time with far-flung members of my Tribe. Shorter, but no less meaningful, jaunts around Arizona, Utah and New Mexico filled in the blanks.
Now, the sun has risen on a new decade, for much of the world and the year, which once loomed as a pinnacle in my life, has a remaining shelf life of nine hours, here in the Mountain Standard Time Zone.
This decade of joy, sorrow, gain, loss, advances and setbacks will soon give way to another, likely much more of each. Happy 2020, one and all!