The past year has been one of the most trying years of my life: my father passed away, my other father had a close-call, my mom had serious health issues, my son had a terrible mental health scare, and my baby sister continued to struggle with her demons. All of this worrying took its toll on me mentally and physically. I lost a lot of the strength and stamina for some of the things I love to do, like running and reading. I am sure you have noticed that I mentioned those two a lot less than I used to. Now you know why. To sum it up, there wasn't a corner of my world without a dark shadow. And yet, I saw light.
How is it possible at after was was the worse year of my life, I am happier than ever before?
I'm not sure how it happened but somehow the universe helped me get through it all…and end up stronger and happier in the process. I am closer to my family and friends, in an authentic loving way. I have found success in writing, a dream that I never thought would be a reality, and I am learning to accept that I don't have to be perfect. I am getting older; I need glasses now and have a few more wrinkles and all that is ok.
Last night I went to watch my niece, Hope, perform as Toto in her school's production of Wizard of Oz. I am not sure why I thought of it, but as she raised her little paw during the final Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I found myself thinking about Hope as a baby and all that she had gone through, an ordeal I have written about before. I started thinking about Hope and the lyrics of the song and how, despite everything, "dreams that you dare to dream really do come true."
When Hope was sick, I remember telling my sister, Sari, about a bad day I was having. I stopped myself when I said it was the worst day ever because, as I explained to her, it couldn't possibly compare to her worst day. Her response was very wise: