Thursday, December 31, 2015

An Open Letter to 2015

Dear 2015,

You started out so nice.  I thought you would be a continuation of the great year that was 2014.  And January and February started out pretty uneventful.  Then March rolled in.

One of my classmates from Burke and Carolina suddenly passed away.  And then my 90-year-old aunt died.  But I was gratefully that she lived to 90.

Then you stayed quiet....until the night of June 17.

I lost two friends that night. And so many of my friends lost relatives and friends.  It was so heartbreaking to go to funeral after funeral, wake after wake.  But Charleston, as always, came together.

And I was still reeling from that when I got that call from my stepfather on September 18 that would change my life forever.

I did not know that you would be the year that would take my mother from me.  There are days that I think that it's just a dream and that she will be calling me on the phone or walk in my house.

And it seemed like after that, everyone was experiencing a loss.  I know so many people who lost loved ones through illness, accidents and even violence.  I had one friend who loss his dad and two aunts in a matter of weeks.  Two more friends lost their mother due to violence the day after my mother died.

And you still weren't through.

In November, I had a health scare.  A routine mammogram turned out to be abnormal.  I'm 36.  My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38.  I was scared out of my mind.  Thank God that the follow-up turned out OK and I was determined to be cancer-free.

Despite all the bumps and bruises, the tears and the stress headaches, this year has brought me closer to God.  I leaned on him more than I have ever had.  And he has given me the strength that I though I didn't have.

This year has also revealed the number of family, friends, coworkers and sorors who supported me during the most difficult time of my life.  If it wasn't for them, I don't know if I would have made it.

And a few awesome things happened this year.  Two of my cousins got married.  I met Hillary Clinton when she came to Charleston.  Tried some new food trucks (including 2 Fat 2 Fly). Got another new car (after the one I had for 15 years kicked the bucket).  And I got a chance to meet some awesome people, with some coming into my life after my mother passed.

I am so glad that you, 2015, are riding off to the sunset.  But I will take the lessons that you have given to 2016 and beyond.  I hope 2016 will treat me (and many others) a whole lot better than you did.