Monday, January 5, 2009

Dear 2008

Dear 2008,
It is with a mix of emotions that I say good bye to you. Without doubt you have been the hardest of all my years. You taught me a lot, you took from me a lot, and you are leaving me a far better person than you found me.
In your beginning, I started with promises. I have always enjoyed making promises to the New Year and 2009 will be no exception. I enjoyed keeping all but one of those promises to you, the exception being that I never did get to do a split. A silly ambition, I know, but one I wanted nonetheless.
I did keep my promises to you though, 2008. I promised to do a lot of nice things for people, and I feel I did that. Unfortunately, I did some really hurtful things to some people too, and it has helped me learn some extraordinarily powerful lessons. It helped me learn that for all the promises I made and kept, I didn't make the kind that are the most important- I didn't make any promise to be mindful. In the beginning, I had not developed a deep sense of mindfulness of others. My promises were all self-serving for the most part- ride a lot of miles, get published, lose weight. I didn't think of a deeper spiritual place, I wasn't selfless.
In your year, my 33rd, I grew more than I have ever grown before. I sat in front of a doctor and I heard the word cancer. It's pretty much the only word I heard that day, every other utterance is a blur. And I cried. I cried deep, choking, tears for literally months on end. Sometimes I cried for entire days. I don't mean that in a poetic way either. I cried for the hurt I caused, I cried for the friends I lost, I cried for myself and my body, I cried for my son, for my mother on her knees before me telling me she wished she could take my cancer. But I also cried for joy. I cried for the love that was given to me by so many people who knew I was hurting. I cried out of a grateful heart to the doctors and nurses and healers who comforted me and showered me with kindness. I cried when I heard the word benign. I'm crying now.
I am deeply grateful for all the lessons you gave me. You taught me that I possess strength deeper than I ever imagined, and more importantly how to farm that strength- how to plant seeds of goodness that grow into positivity. You gave me my religion this year which helps me everyday to understand the world and to be present.
As I reflect back on this year, I see major trials. Not even major, they were gargantuan. WERE. They're not anymore. And so into 2009 I carry a sense of peacefulness and happiness knowing that it's going to be a good year. It can't not be, I won't allow it.
I am looking forward to 2009. I am hoping that it will be filled with health for myself and my loved ones. I am hoping it will be filled with healing- healing of hearts, healing of friendships with people I still deeply miss, and many many miles of safe and fun bike riding.

Thank you 2008. Now go away.


Jenni said...

Edited and reposted.

Anonymous said...

this is a wonderful post

Mike said...

"...healing of friendships with people I still deeply miss..."

By writing this you have taken the first step towards that. May the next step come to you. Great post.

Jenni said...

Thanks Mike.
Oh and by the way, I've got a LiveStrong fundraising concert planned for the spring. Whachu got?

Mike said...

Ouch! Well, I'm am about to roll out my heart-felt, personalized email and flyer to all my peeps with a fundraising dinner planned for spring. Stay tuned!
Oh and did I mention what the weather man gave me for my birthday today? Sunny skies and a high of 68 degrees. Excellent bike weather.