Good riddance, 2011

Here’s a recap of my year: job loss, shingles, stillbirth.

This year has punched me, shoved me down and trampled me. On many days, I have wanted to walk into a hospital and request a leg amputation. Then people could see the hurt I’ve been through. Instead, I am left fumbling for words every time a stranger asks “Is she your only child?” or “Why did you decide to go back to school?”

Do I invite them into my world? Most people — parents especially — really don’t want to hear about children dying.

And yet so many people have listened — neighbors who I hadn’t met before, friends who I hadn’t talked to in years. We literally got cards from strangers, people who had never met us but heard about Genevieve from our friends and relatives. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so loved and so sad at the same time. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you.

I’m looking forward to 2012. I have to believe it will be better than 2011. I’ll end the year with a bit of wisdom from Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

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