We are two days away from the new year. 2015 seemed like it would be ages away for a long time, and now it’s just two days away. As difficult as the last year has been for me to accept many circumstances in my life, particularly losing Ed, the last year has been one of the most fulfilling years of my life.
I did quite a bit of travel, both for work and for pleasure: we visited a number of states on our quest to hit every state in the U.S., including Arizona, West Virginia, Vermont, Upstate New York, Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. We took my parents on a first vacation that I paid for to the Grand Canyon, Phoenix, and Scottsdale.
I learned how lonely and isolating work travel could be. I also realized how deep the word “unethical” can go. I stopped spending time with some friends who I felt just didn’t understand anything past the surface and wanted me to assimilate rather than just be myself. I realized through this process that some people never really get past the maturity and depth level of high school. I also stopped putting as much effort into other friendships because I didn’t feel like always being the one doing more.
Chris proposed on a secluded beach in Rio, and we became “engaged.” We went to Brazil for the World Cup and saw some of the most stunning and beautiful sights on earth. We also visited Montreal, Quebec City, Vienna, and Budapest as some additional international trips, and finished the year in Australia, visiting his hometown, of course, but also Cairns and Brisbane, and the biggest highlight, snorkeling underwater in the Great Barrier Reef. I finally got to hold a koala (yes, I am very ambitious like this).
I started my first fundraiser in honor of my brother to raise money for suicide prevention in the United States, and was ranked 10th out of hundreds of fundraisers in all of Manhattan. I met other suicide survivors and realized I wasn’t alone at all. I started mentoring with two youth organizations and started realizing things about how much my life has changed since I was my mentees’ ages. There’s so much more to be done to help others with hardships; I haven’t even done a fraction of what I’d like just yet.
My dad found blockages in his arteries that resulted in his having double bypass heart surgery, and I flew home to be by his side. After losing my brother, this was probably one of the scariest periods I’ve had to endure. Logic may prevail with those who are more distant, but when this is affecting someone this close, emotions aren’t always so logical.
I’ve continued documenting my life through 1 Second Every Day and through this blog. It’s kind of funny when I think about this because it’s like I am prepping for the one day that will come when I am gone and can for whatever reason no longer be coherent, and perhaps my children will read through all of this and see all the ponderings of their mother. They will look back and read this blog and think, damn, our mother was ambitious as hell. She loved and cared that much despite all the dysfunction and selfishness surrounding her. And boy, did she love travel with Dad.
Now, what’s in store for the new year?