When my mother passed away from lung cancer in 2007, I thought there will never be another year like this that tests my faith and resilience, that surrounds me with wonderful family and friends and encourages me to look deep in my soul to find hope. I channeled my angry/nervous/sad/willful energy into wherever the wind took me, mainly at work because I could control my own destiny and see progress only to find myself feeling similar emotions again. You brought me a son the day before the pandemic. You helped me bring life into a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. We returned unexpectedly to the NICU and stayed in the hospital for a month after he was diagnosed with Group B Strep Meningitis. You introduced me to nurses and doctors who came from all walks of life, some who smiled with tired eyes, some who showed kindness and gave me hope, like they were comforting a close friend or family member, some who looked at me with pity because they didn’t believe my son would recover as much as he did. He might have hearing loss they said, and severe developmental delays. The outlook is not good they said and then the very next day he was seizure free and off to the pediatric care unit he went to recover. He smiled everyday, followed people with his curious eyes, learned how to drink from a bottle again, can hear at 100% (as if nothing ever happened to him), has a giant belly laugh, climbs everywhere, eats like he means it, and best of all that little smile and those curious eyes continue to grow, develop, and learn just like any other little 8.5 month old his age.
Although the world is a distinctly different place, I’d like to think that in some ways, I will be thankful for you 2020 – for showing me what matters in life, for letting me work for a company that provides me with flexibility to work from home, for letting me see all three of my smiling kids everyday, for helping me stay connected to loved ones virtually, for the caregivers who took care of my son while probably missing their own children, for reminding me who I am, for walks, sunshine, fresh air, health, and for life.
Thank you and I hope that no matter what happens this year, that many of us will walk away from it stronger, kinder, braver and fierce.
I’m ready for you 2021. Let’s go.