Although 2016 was arguably the happiest year of my life due to the fact that I got married to my prince charming, we found a church we love, and we were healthy (except for one long week with Dan having the stomach flu and another week of him having wrist surgery) this year has also been a pretty awful year when it comes to injuries, sickness, and loss of life. 2016 has literally been a complete roller coaster of emotions and for me- writing about it is the best way for me to express how I truly feel.
All of the instances that I am going to write about affected me and so many other people and this is giving me the opportunity to share with those people how much of an impact your incident has had on everyone.
It all sort of started in January. I remember reading about a horrible car accident on Facebook that a friend mine’s mom posted about. I remember I was sitting at my computer at home, just scrolling and when I saw this extra long post, instead of passing it by, I read it. I re-read it. And then as the tears started to swell, I called and texted anyone I knew who knew her to spread the word. Although this wasn’t a friend who I spent every weekend with, this was someone who I have played numerous games of beer pong with and corn hole. She was the person who got me even remotely interested in The Bachelor, and when I first met her I thought she was trying to steal my boyfriend away. haha. Today she is learning to walk again and has recently had surgery to be able to speak louder than she was previously able to. For someone who was internally decapitated, this is LEAPS AND BOUNDS what anyone had first anticipated, so for her- 2016 has got better as the months progressed, and her facebook and blog posts are great, but holy hell I will always remember how I felt and how many people just couldn’t believe it. We will always pray for you and root you on no matter what and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this chick.
In April someone who holds a special place in my heart called me as I was parking my car to head into my yoga class and the moment I answered the phone I knew something was wrong. I turned my car off and she explained to me that her brother had passed away due to liver failure. I sat there in disbelief as I tried to calm her down, but at the same time was speechless. Her brother was there when I got drunk for the first time, always let me and all our friends come crash their parties, and was a genuine sweetheart. He was literally the brother I never had. I am pretty sure one summer I was at their families house every weekend, sleeping on the couch and he was there to pick on us, argue with me once I turned 21 of who would be DD and could tell you anything you wanted to know about cars or motorcycles. Once I hung up the phone with his sister, I immediately called my parents and completely broke down. I went into yoga and cried for the entire 60 minute class. I went home and cried in Dan’s arms. This person’s life was taken way too early and the happiness he brought to so many people is remarkable.
In November we went to our annual Friendsgiving and a couple was there who we see probably a handful of times a year at birthday parties, weddings or social gatherings and this year she was pregnant with their second child. I asked a lot of questions because their first pregnancy was tough, and due to that, she was closely monitored. About three weeks later their little baby boy was born at 25 weeks weighing 1lb 2oz and everyone was fighting for this little dude to make it. Five days later we found out that heaven gained another angel and although I never was able to meet him, his parents are amazing people and funds have been raised to help. This family in particular is so solid and are by each other’s sides at the drop of hat and it is amazing to see everyone coming together during such a hard time. We only hope for the best for you guys and we know you will make it through this.
And then December came. At the beginning of December, I learned that a newly engaged couple was in the hospital because he was diagnosed with Leukemia. I really didn’t know much about Leukemia, but I learned there are no stages, it is blood cancer, and in his case he found out because him and his fiance were both sick with colds and while she got better, he never did so when he went to the doctor he was immediately sent to the hospital and learned he had Leukemia the next day. And then soon after that, chemo started. I was able to visit this couple at St. Joe’s and learned that they also moved into a new home and just days after moving in, this all happened. Boxes packed, nothing really taken care of and one of their really close friends helped them unpack and get their life in order. She works for Denver Fire and has had a huge support system there, but looking back, being engaged and planning your wedding should be the best time of your life and when something like this happens you stop everything and deal with it. I just learned things are not going according to plan and chemo is not working, but I am hoping that when they start looking into clinical trials this works and they can start making positive progress. I really love his snapchats of their Great Dane, they make my day.
And lastly.. just yesterday I was getting ready to go to the grocery store and I got a text from a gym buddy asking how my Christmas was and then asked if she could call me. I figured she was calling to let me know she was planning some epic New Years Eve party. I answered the call and we chatted for a minute or two and then she said she had some ‘not-so-good’ news. Then I just figured she got a job promotion back to California where she is from. She went on to explain to me that while she was ‘killing it’ snowboarding on Friday she hit a jump and landed wrong and broke her back leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Que the knotted stomach and the loss of words. I was just thankful I was sitting down. I had no idea how to react and didn’t really ask too many questions. We joked around about guys she was dating, and she explained to me that now she just needs to figure out how to live life on 4 wheels. Right away I asked if it was permanent, which it is and if there was anything I could do to help. She had asked me to tell a few people and to give her our gym owners contact info so she could “put her membership on hold until she figures some things out.” I just laughed and said, “of course.” I am hoping to go visit her soon and can’t wait to see that smiley face who makes up hashtags for anything. I keep thinking she will have the sickest wheelchair and will find a way to get back on the hills when she can.
Other life changing things happened this year, but after I got that call yesterday I just knew I had to write something down. Something to help me cope. Something to remind myself that it doesn’t fucking matter what material things you have, or if you are able to purchase organic foods, and you should always make time for family and friends because you never know what tomorrow holds and what could happen. Life is precious, so be kind to others and live the life you want to live because there are never any guarantees.