Ok, people, listen up. I’m gonna tell you about 2015.
On the one hand, it was the toughest year I’ve had in a long time. Maybe ever.
In April, I lost my mom, followed by my good friend Justin a week later. (Justin, one of my dearest friends, as gentle as a man could be when he was sober, had gone back out and gotten himself killed.)
The next week, my car got struck by lightning, and that weekend I had to evacuate due to flooding.
In June, I had soreness and redness on my abdomen, went to the doctor who took one look at it and practically pushed me out the door, telling me to get to the ER ASAP. She didn’t even take the time to charge me. What followed was a surgery, which didn’t fix the problem, five more trips to the ER followed by two more surgeries and two events that I call cut-opens, where the surgeon reopened the wound that he had already sewed up. Right there in his office, with me watching.
In September, I finally went home for good, followed by six weeks where my injury was not healing. These were the darkest days, during which time I had one episode where a green fluid started leaking out of my wound. About a pint of it. And another midnight episode where I started shooting blood out of the injury. I also experienced dark, frightening hallucinations caused by the medication I was on. This was the period where I was re-opened twice.
I was evacuated a second time due to flooding.
Finally, I had had enough. I asked God to please either heal me or take me home. The next day, I began to heal. After getting back to work four days a week, our company had a cut-back and I went back to working two days a week.
Two weeks ago, we lost another dear friend in my Twelve Step community.
On the Spiritual growth side, Mom’s passing was a miracle. Her funeral was a celebration of her and her life. As I grieved her passing, I reexamined my own life. I measured it against what she taught and showed me about love and life. I acquired a new sense of who I wanted to be.
During my illness and recovery, I experienced waves of love and support from my Twelve Step community, my family, the company I work for, my friends and my community at Landmark Education. Way more than I ever deserved. Way more than I ever imagined could come my way. I was unable to do the minutest things for myself, and you helped me in every way possible. It took me being completely helpless to understand how much you love me. You blessed me financially when I had no income. You gave me rides to the doctor and to my Twelve Step meetings when I couldn’t drive. You did my laundry, bought me groceries, picked up my medication, cleaned my home, repaired my car, cooked my food, prayed for me, all to my continuous shock and amazement. You even brought me a Twelve Step meeting to my hospital room when I needed it the most. You, Deonna, came over the night my hematoma burst, and cleaned up the blood I had sprayed from one end of my home to the other. Unbelievable. You, each one of you, and God through you, were the strength and love that wouldn’t allow me to quit even though many times I just wanted it to be over. I was humbled by your devotion. It took me being helpless to get how much you love me. Many of my lifelong resentments simply disappeared. Many things that used to bother me became ‘Ah, so what…’ What right did I have to hold anything against anyone, when I had received such a blessing? Those are all gifts that you gave me that I will never forget.
So I want to tell you, to share with you, that you, yes you, the one sitting in your seat, took this year of miserable circumstances and made it my best year ever. I will never be the same.
Thank you, and I love you.