I don’t make resolutions. I don’t eat Negro spiritual food (black eyed peas) in hopes for good luck in the coming year. I don’t attend any church service on New Years Eve to make atonement for all of the sinning I did the previous 364 days, then following it up with more sinning in the club a few hours later. Oh, and if you plan on doing any of that, best believe, I’m not knocking it at all, it’s just not my cup of tea.
In any event, all I can say about 2009 is, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. A few of the ‘best’ times, I will always remember, included my trips to New Orleans, St. Thomas & Phoenix. How often does a person get to celebrate their birthday on a beautiful island? It was definitely a birthday to remember. New Orleans & Phoenix, although they were business trips, offered me an opportunity to visit areas I’ve always wanted to visit, on my companies dime. Free is always good. Unlike the year before, my health and dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis seemed to go a lot better. Not one flare up or issue, even though at times, my stress level was at an all time high. This year my grandmother finally moved out of “Brick City” and down here to Maryland with the rest of the family, we never thought it would happen, but she finally gave in.
With the best of times, comes the worst of times. This year I lost my grandfather to cancer, but being able to see the town he grew up in and the church he was baptized in, was definitely a moving experience. I was able to see family that I hadn’t seen in years, and some that I would probably have never come across until then. Growing up around my uncles, I never saw them cry until then. Watching my mother being presented the folded flag, by a Navy officer, brought even more tears to my eyes. Hanging in my son’s closet are two of his great-grandfather’s coats. They still have his scent on them, we won’t wash them.
So like I said, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but I’m still standing & breathing, and that’s all that matters. I don’t bend so easily. I remember a line that Derek Luke said in “Antwone Fisher”, and as I was writing this the scene popped into my mind, “It don’t matter what you tried to do, you couldn’t destroy me! I’m still standing! I’m still strong! And I always will be”.