I don’t hate you. Don’t get me wrong: I have every single reason to be happy that you’re almost history, but I don’t hate you. Twenty-sixteen will forever be marked in my mind as the year my dad died, and that plain sucks. But I still don’t hate you.
The thing is, 2016 was actually a pretty great year, all things considered. I probably saw my dad more in 2016 than I did in most years since I got married. The fact that they came out to visit so often, and that they went on our cross-country road trip with us, are memories I’ll forever cherish.
On top of that, so many great things happened this year to my family, that I can’t help but be happy thinking about it.
My mom was finally recognized for all the hard work she’s put in at the job she’s been at for 40 years, and I got to fly out and surprise her at a banquet. So thankful my dad kept that surprise and helped me plan it all 🙂
We were on a super secret mission yesterday—we flew to New Mexico to surprise my mom!! She’s been at her job for 40 years and there was a banquet honoring her last night. She said it wasn’t a big deal, but I think it’s A REALLY BIG DEAL, and I wanted to celebrate with her! (Also, my mom’s voice isn’t normally like that, but when she gets really excited it gets ridiculously high!)
We packed up our life in Georgia and went on an absolutely wonderful road trip across America. We saw friends along the way, enjoyed spectacular sights, and the girls got to hang out with their Tata and Uma.
My husband put on major in the Air Force, and my girls are growing leaps and bounds every day. We love exploring our new city, and spending time with each other.
And most recently, my brother graduated from nursing school, which is something I’m ridiculously proud of him for. The second I heard what the date was for his graduation, I booked a ticket so I could surprise him for his big day. I’m so happy I could see him walk across that stage.
And, despite my dad dying…I got to see him. A lot. I’ve always been worried about his health, and the fact that he thankfully didn’t die from a sudden heart attack or a fall, is a miracle in and of itself. The fact that he walked me down the aisle at my wedding, and got to hold four of his grandchildren is a blessing I’m so thankful for.
I may not have been there when he actually passed away (and for that, I dislike you a little bit, 2016), but I did get to say goodbye. I got to tell him I was pregnant, and I got to sit by his side for an entire week before he died. But best of all: I got to tell him that I loved him, and I gave him one last hug (along with our special handshake). I consider myself pretty darn lucky, because I know many people don’t have that type of opportunity.
So 2016, while you had one giant low where life really, really sucked, you redeemed yourself in other ways, and there’s always a rainbow to look out for in the midst of hard times. I’m definitely looking forward to a new year, but I’ll look back at this year with fond and distinct memories.
See ya later, 2016!