Another year of our lives comes to an end tonight and as I reminisce about 2016 I feel nothing but thankful.
For me this was a major growing year. I moved back to California with so much appreciation for the place that I’m from and the people I left behind only 9 months prior. I had the wonderful opportunity to move back in with my mom temporarily. After those 9 months of drastic change it was nice to come back to what I had been used to and get one more chance to feel like less of an adult. It was also when I realized that it was time to move on to the next chapter of my life since all of my friends were busy working towards their futures and we could no longer spend time together whenever we felt like it. Even though I knew that it was time for another big change, I almost had a harder time moving only two hours away just because I knew that this was much more permanent.
Blake and I have celebrated our first wedding anniversary, bought our first home and to finish off the year we even bought a new car. To say that I’m grateful would be an understatement.
However, this year has also brought many struggles. I had personal feelings of overwhelming anger towards someone I care about which caused major anxiety and discomfort in my life. At the time I didn’t think that my feelings could ever change but time has a funny way of fixing things. I’m at peace because I was able to overcome those feelings. It’s never worth it to hold a grudge against someone you care about because ultimately you’re only hurting yourself. That’s one of many valuable lessons I’ve learned this year.
Another difficult occurrence of this year happened just last week when my papa passed away on Christmas Day. It was early in the morning and we rushed over to the hospital because we had heard that he might not make it through the day. I took a moment to appreciate the beauty of such a sad place on what was supposed to be a happy day. I felt so thankful for the nurses and doctors who gave up their Christmas to help those who needed it. I felt humbled when I saw patients battling for their health. Most of all I felt like there was no place I would rather be than in that hospital room by my papas side.
Death is never a happy thing, even when someone is in pain it’s difficult to be happy that their pain is gone when a person you love no longer exists in the world. But this was a special day. Even though I had to say goodbye to Papa this Christmas I know that it happened exactly as it was supposed to. The people who loved him were all there and he went from being non responsive to telling us all that he loved us. After a long morning in the hospital I left, but not before I could give him a kiss on the forehead and tell him I loved him three more times.
He wanted to be alone and so we went on with our Christmas plans. About 30 minutes into our celebration at my aunt and uncles house, my uncle got the call. Papa left the body that was causing him so much pain and his beautiful soul went to heaven. I’m sure he was watching over us as we cried and hugged and comforted one another and carried on with our night with tears in our eyes. I was so happy to be with everyone and not back in San Diego and I truly feel that papa wanted it that way for all of our sakes. Because that just who he was, always looking after us.
He’s the third grandparent I’ve lost and it never gets easier but I know that he is up there with my nana and poppy watching over me. And now death seems a little less scary since I know that whenever my time is up, I’ll have another person waiting for me on the other side.
My hope for 2017 is that I can be more like him in all of the ways that made him so admirable to everyone he knew. I want to be able to push forward and make each year better than the last.
So cheers to new beginnings, happiness, health and family. I hope everyone has a very fun and safe night bringing in the new year. Let’s make it a great one!