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Friday 31 December 2010

A Very Happy New Year!

For so many people whom I have met, the year 2010 has been unusually difficult in so many ways. There seems to have been so much illness and bereavement and it has often felt to me that everything was thrown up into the air in order to come down in a different and far better place. With that thought dominant in my mind, I am so looking forward to Midnight tonight and the birth of 2011.

The year 1866 had been particularly distressing for Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Alice. The Austro-Prussian War not only meant a long separation from her husband and the sadness of seeing the wounded Hessians, but also had led to her being on the opposing side to her closest sister, Vicky, in Prussia. By the end of the year the war was over, and as Princess Alice looked forward to 1867, she wrote to her mother:

“May the Almighty give you every blessing of peace and comfort which the world can still give you....May every blessing fall on my dear old home, with all its dear ones! May peace and the glory which peace and order bring with it, with its many blessings, protect my native land; and may, in the new year, your wise and glorious reign, so overshadowed by dear Papa’s spirit, continue to prosper and be a model and ornament to the world!
This year of pain and anxiety, yet for us so rich in blessings, draws to its close. It moves me more than ever as its last day approaches. For how much have we not to thank the Almighty – for my life, which is so unworthy compared to many others; the new life of this little one [her daughter – Irene] and above all the preservation of my own dear husband who is my all in this life.
The trials of this year must have brought some good with all the evil; good to the individual and good to the multitude. God grant we may all profit by what we have learned, and gain more and more that trust in God’s love, which is our guide and support in trouble and in joy! Oh, more than ever, I have felt this year that God’s goodness and love are indeed beyond comprehension!
...I am really glad to hear you can listen to a little music. Music is such a heavenly thing, and dear Papa loved it so much that I can’t but think that now it must be soothing, and bring you near to him....”

Bring on the fireworks and the music....Ring out the old, ring in the new! A Very Happy New Year!

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