There is a well known quote by J. K Rowling about building her foundation on rock bottom. I’m not at rock bottom, though I believe I have been where J.K was when she spoke these words:
I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. J.K Rowling
I am not at rock bottom, but 2021 has not been a good year.
It started out badly enough, we were in one of the many covid surges we would have this. turns out 2021 was a worse covid year than 2020 was even though we had vaccines and boosters, and more boosters and mandates etc. The US did I much worse job handling Coved in 2021 than they did in 2020 – and that was a huge clusterfuck.
Drugs that worked off label were mocked. People who took them and reported a rabid recovery were ridiculed. those who said they followed the science wouldn’t know what science looked like if they got smacked in the head with it – they did, they just didn’t know what it was. Currently we’re experiencing the latest variant – omicron – a considerably more contagious variant, but so far also a considerably more mild variant. Of course you wouldn’t know that by watching the news or reading any mainstream newspaper.
According to President Biden, Dr Fauci, and our very own Osterholm we should once again run for the hills.
I’ve still got toilet paper from 2020, I’m not running for the hills. I’m going to continue living my life unafraid of this virus or any other viruses that might come along because once I’ve done all I can do to to mitigate the risks -well that’s all I can do. Cowering in fear isn’t an option, because that leads to giving up.
I know quite a few people who have done just that and it breaks my heart that they have become merely shells of their former selves. Refusing to go out and connect with other humans. Facebook can be a great way to connect with people you didn’t keep in contact from high school 9and let’s face it, probably didn’t want to stay connected with anyway) but its a horrible substitution for real human connection. And yet I know so many whose only connection now is through the “safety” of social media apps.
My Mother Passed Away
This past January I got the call I was expecting for years. 3 days before my birthday, and less than 24 hours since we had a delightful visit – outside in the cold and snow due to Covid – I got the call from the nursing home telling me my mother had passed away. The nurse who called thought it was due to pulmonary embolism, but we’ll never know because we didn’t opt for an autopsy. No one wanted it “covid’d” even though my mom had just been vaccinated.
I’m still processing her death, and more importantly her life, but we took the spring and most of the summer to put together a beautiful memorial for her. It was one of the most healing things I have ever done. not just for my mother but for my brother and me too.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the wedding of two of my favorite people. I eagerly dragged my daughter with me across the country – before testing was necessary and there were still pilots and staff to man the planes. I paid more for the car rental than I did for for the airfare – but that’s just how it’s going to be I guess.
It was a beautiful wedding.
A Second Funeral
We got home and I left the next day to the other side of the country to attend a funeral of a dear friend who also died from pulmonary embolism, and who also had been recently vaccinated.
I’m sharing their status because we’ve come to vilify anyone who questions the safety and risk of the vaccines. I’m fully vaccinated – not that it’s anyone’s business – and I was hesitant to get vaccinated – but I knew if I didn’t eventually I wouldn’t be allowed to travel and do other things I enjoyed so figuring life without those things was no life, I took the risk. Too bad that’s considered fair game for mockery.
The day after my mother’s memorial I became an empty nester. My daughter moved in with some friends on the local college campus even though she was taking a gap year. In her rush to independence she failed to really screen a couple of her roommates – one of whom is a bitch and will probably go far in the corporate world or Politics if she chooses.
I spent the week before the Christmas holidays moving her home because no one should pay to suffer like that.
And a Third
While it is not my story to tell, a young relative of mine ended his life the week before Christmas. This has cut me to my core. This is what my brain keeps on a loop at all times. Sometimes quietly and sometimes so loud I need to scream. If you or someone you know is considering suicide please call the suicide hotline, there is help, it can get better. 1-800-273-8255.
A Broken Shoulder
I have written this post with my left hand. Two days after Christmas I slipped on the mall sidewalk and broke my right shoulder. I’m so thankful for my kids and friends who have taken care of me.
OMG and a Fourth
As I am wrapping this up I got a notification that Betty White has died – today – the last day of the year.
Fuck you 2021.
*should probably change the title to Four Funerals and a Wedding.