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Goodbye 2016

31 Dec
michael

Me and my cousin Michael

It is the last day of 2016 and there are so many things swirling in my head I’m not sure what to write. It’s been a year of deaths of so many icons from my youth; David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Mrs. Brady~Florence Henderson, and more recently Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher. I don’t idolize them but holy cow, the memories of the music and shows they bring up. It’s sad and nostalgic but it’s also a reminder for me of aging and mortality…I’m getting older. A little over a week ago my cousin passed away after having a heart attack, he was 46. He was mostly raised by my grandma in the Philippines but came to the US as a teen. He stayed with us through his Junior High years then ended up moving to California to be closer to his mom. Michael struggled with depression and we kept in contact on and off through the years. His adult life was a struggle but I think he finally felt complete when his daughter was born; his was a struggle of identity and belonging, and depression and maybe his heart attack was really a broken heart. Over the past week my cousins and I have been in more contact with each other than I can ever remember thanks to technology and Facebook messenger. We didn’t all grow up together because we are all over the place; Philippines, Australia, California, Minnesota, Kentucky and me in Michigan. We along with our parents (the aunts and uncles) and Michael’s best friend have united in this tragedy and are helping cover expenses and arrangements for my aunt. Holidays are generally a time of family gatherings and I don’t really know what that’s like strangely until now. Outside of the friends that have surrounded my family I did not grow up with my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc so this connection of us around the globe has been kind of bittersweet for me.

I read a quote today ‘It takes the darkness to see the stars.’ Reflecting on 2016 and in my life so far it’s been so true for me. I’m so grateful for my friends and family who always shine in my dark times and during this dark time of Michael’s death I see our family as the stars in the darkness coming together to help in however way we can. There are always stars, sometimes we just can’t see them. A good blogger friend of mine, Elizabeth, wrote a piece about New Year and not having resolutions but instead having a word/thememyintent/mantra…choosing a path. We must’ve been on the same wavelength because for Christmas I bought a little bracelet for myself with a word on it as a reminder; I chose STRONG. I chose strong instead of strength because strength feels like something I hope to have whereas I wanted that reminder to myself that shoot, after all I’ve been through, I’m already strong. What is your word? What will be your theme? What is your hope for 2017?

Today I wear Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Mercy which is a deep berry. I chose it because Kat is pretty strong and bad ass and also for the name (the color si pretty kickin too). We all could probably exercise a little more kindness, grace and mercy in 2017. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! CHEERS!!

 

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6 Responses to “Goodbye 2016”

  1. Shelly Rizzo December 31, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Excellent blog…… you are so right, the darkness does allow us to see the stars. Although painful and confusing, it is sometimes necessary. Lord knows I’ve had some serious “darkness” over the past year and a half, but it helped me to see the “stars.”

    My mantra….”Just Breathe.” Certainly there were many days that this was the only thing I had complete control over. Yeah, I wanted to be in control. Silly me. I was so angry about being diagnosed. Angry about surgery and treatment. Angry about losing my best friend in the midst of my “darkness.” Incomprehensible! Days of panic and fear and grief were met with MY control; Shelly, Just Breathe! Being brave enough and faithful enough to hand the rest over to God; Priceless!

    • Anna December 31, 2016 at 10:58 am #

      Amen Shelly! Just Breathe! Happy New Year to you and your family šŸ˜Š

  2. Judy Janke January 1, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    Happy New Year Anna! I am sorry for your loss of your love one. I am so happy to see that you have a bracelet, I also have one that says STRONG! We have both been through so much in life but we are very strong women and have made many changes in our lives. I am so happy for you that you have found a love one, God Bless both of you! I miss my Bob so much, but he is with me every step of my day. Love you Anna,
    Judy

    • Anna January 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Thanks Judy! Happy New Year and we are strong!

  3. Lnda Roberts January 6, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    Your words are such an encouragement to me Anna. Thank you for sharing. A beaded 2017 to you! Linda Roberts.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Anna January 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      Thank you Linda, Happy New Year!

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