You were a tough one.
I like to think that I’m a pretty strong person. I’ve faced rough waters in my life but have always felt I could reach the surface for air. However, this year you made me kick like hell for that breath.
I watched my mother lose her mother. A destiny we all will face, yet one we can never imagine. I watched her stand strong at her funeral, take care of all arrangements and paint on that smile you know is only surface deep. My grandmother was God-fearing, kind and a servant to the people. She loved helping others, had a thirst for discovery and never stopped soaking in literature and knowledge. I see so much of her adventurous and lighthearted spirit in my Berklee. I know they would have been the best of pals.
I watched my father take the bravest step I’ve ever seen. Injury after injury and surgery after surgery, he grew dependent on pain medication (an epidemic that is at its peak in our country). Then, he made the decision to enter a rehabilitation facility and he never looked back. His courage to take change and his ability to speak about it with others truly reflects the empathy and compassion filled by his heart. Looking back at his journey today, I could not be more proud of that sweet man and the gift I’ve received of being his daughter.
I watched fellow Americans attack one another in what will go down in history as the most controversial election of all time. An election our country is and will continue to heal from in the upcoming months or even years. I watched friends attack one another on social media and recognized the ability that differences have to destroy relationships. I think we can all agree; it was an ugly and extremely difficult time for our Nation.
We lost our baby. At 8 weeks gestation, we learned that our hopes for this little life were no longer. Our child was called to heaven; no heartbeat was found. I’m not going to lie to you, I was left pretty broken after that. I had some dark days, and some frustrating talks with Jesus. My patience, faith and strength were all tested in the months after my miscarriage. A loss so many women face, but few talk about. You can read my full miscarriage story here.
Earlier, I mentioned how you, 2016, had me kicking like hell for breath in rough waters. But the beauty of that is that I didn’t drown. I finally reached the surface and inhaled the fresh air- and it was glorious. My daughter took her first steps this year. My sister and her family finally moved back home. I had two beautiful nephews born and I quit my job in sales to stay home with my girl.
So I’m closing this chapter and saying goodbye 2016. You may have thought I was anchored to the ocean floor, but I was set free. You made me stronger than I thought possible and have taught me the true meaning of life. Nothing is guaranteed, so rejoice in your wins and in the midst of your storm, always find the rainbow.