I started the year 2016 working through the struggles of an impending divorce after twenty-one years of marriage. I was optimistic in the new life I was creating for myself (which was not perfect), but still, I was hoping that with the passing of time I could build a life for me and my two children. For instance, I had aspirations of finding a new place to live with three bedrooms; one for me, one for my twenty-two year old son and one for my fourteen year old daughter. I was annoyed, like most everyone else, by the Presidential election. On Facebook some of my family members even “unfriended” one another over the controversy. I had strong opinions about the misuse of the media and by the media. I was upset over the failings of the education system in my State…environmental issues and immigration issues. I also had personal “ex-husband issues” where we argued and bickered like we were still married. And average every day parenting concerns such as my teen aged daughter wanting more “freedom” and an adult son who wanted so much to make me proud and didn’t know how very proud I already was of him.
Then in July 2016 – a nightmare! My son passed away in a tragic car accident and my whole universe and global perspective changed. Who cares about the divorce anymore? …So silly to argue about Hillary or Trump! Of course the education system and environment matter, but my boy was gone. What issue could be more important than that??!! I found myself moving through a world where “things” didn’t bother me or get under my skin like they had before. I moved in to a two bedroom apartment, and I was done with the year 2016.
In the last stretch of this horrible year, the young son of a friend and former colleague of mine was murdered at the age of twenty-one, just a few days short of his twenty-second birthday. Our boys had been friends and had gone to the same schools together. It was heartbreaking to see yet another mother lose her boy. Over the past few months I’ve taken myself to different parent support groups and I have now met at least a dozen parents whom have lost their children under differing circumstances. Some of these parents have become part of my intimate inner circle of friends -which is a big deal for me, as I am usually quite the introvert. We wish none of us had met under these circumstances and if we could prevent anyone from knowing this suffering -we would.
Just when I thought 2016 was finally done, a very dear friend of mine passed away after losing his battle with lung cancer. A man who even recovering in a wheelchair hosted events at his home to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He spent most of his life selflessly helping others. And even during his most difficult times and during the depths of his illness, he made time to check in on me after I lost my son.
After all of this heartache and hard lessons learned I believe I can take pretty much anything that life can dish-out. It’s not that I am numb and unfeeling now, because I am not. In fact, I feel things a great deal. The reality is that I am now diverting my energy to where my “feeling” is worth my energy. Can Trump or Hillary ruin my day? No. Does an annoying person at work or situation ruffle my feathers? No.
How will my 2017 be a different journey from every other year? There is nothing and no one that can ever truly bother me again. There is not a single possession, not a job or even a financial situation that I could possibly worry about. Even my ex-husband and I have become better friends and better people. No one on this Earth can ever aggravate me again. I am like water. Even if you threw stones at me, I’d take them in and keep existing until one day ..I too evaporate. Throw what you wish 2017, I am steady no matter what will come my way.