On Saying Thank You to 2020

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They’re here, marking their spaces on various social media platforms. The ‘Memes’ that read: Fk you 2020. Bye-bye 2020 – Worst year ever etc.  You know what I’m talking about. As more and more people embark on that ‘omg what a dumb year’ train, I’m choosing to pause for a few seconds to actually thank Dame Universe for allowing me to experience many things associated with 2020. Yep, I know I’ll read comments which will likely be negative, which will call me ‘fake’ and inform me that I am lucky, that the repercussions of this year have not been as severe as for other individuals – and you are right. However, I’ve long learned that I can’t change the World until I alter my own perspective. To ‘be’ the light, I need to ‘see’ the light, even in the darkest moments. 

My Father always taught me that there is still that glitter that sparkles around you despite extreme darkness, even if it’s perceived ‘within’ you. 2020 began with the bang of losing my mother, the only parent I had left. She left on February 29th, after allowing me to sit with her and my brother for a week, nestled safely in her palliative room. We were granted the privilege of accompanying her on her journey to Spirit. Together, we laughed, we cried, we ate, and we healed. My relationship with her had always been stormy. These moments, although difficult and heartbreaking, allowed me to find peace within myself. I witnessed her transformation and saw how graceful so many individuals could be in situations such as this. They held our hearts as we bared witness to a person’s life. What a gift it was to have these moments, surrounded and grace and peace – and to finally be able to let a lifetime of ‘shit’ go …

It happened in 2020.

After my mom’s passing, I took time off to rebuild my strength and Spirit. The past few years had been draining, and I was grateful to be able to sit in silence and think. I cried. I slept. I cried some more, and then I decided to move forward. I took up walking. Every day, I’d get on my treadmill, against my own will, and decided to walk. I had never really walked anywhere, for any time. I didn’t much care for it ( and still don’t ), but I persevered and joined a few virtual 10K walks. I received medals – and then I joined the ‘long’ walk. On May 28th, after training for weeks, I walked a half-marathon with my friend Francine. Together, we raised hundreds of dollars for our local Community Living Association. I got stronger. I got confident. I had healed.

It happened in 2020.

On July 7th, my husband Bill, was diagnosed with colon cancer. On July 23d, he had surgery. Complications presented themselves ( serious ones – he coded twice ). I thought I would lose my Life partner. I cried. I fought for his life. I handled finances. I supported my children. I asked for help. I saw family relationships rekindled, and others dwindle before my eyes. You kinda catch the drift. It was the most challenging, scariest moments of our lives, and yet, it was the one that taught me that I am indeed a force to be reckoned with. I never realized how much I could do and knew until Dame Universe left me no choice: swim – or lose everything. We were incredibly fortunate, and Bill made it back home after spending 59 days in the hospital. He is still mending and healing.

Times are sometimes horrible and quite tricky for him, but he’s here. He’s alive. Eating. Sleeping. Laughing. He’s retired ( YAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) after leaving the business, which made our family what it is today. After 35 years of being ‘on-call’ and going outside in all sorts of weather at all times of the day, he can rest at home, recuperating and knowing that Spring will see him that much stronger. What a gift: the gift of life. We witnessed and navigated this as a family. We have never been more resilient or grateful. No Christmas as usual? What do you mean? LIFE is Christmas this year – and every day after that.

It happened in 2020.

As things ‘calmed’ down ( they didn’t – they just shifted ), life moved forward. I completed a virtual Camino walk ( 793 km ). I kept writing and decided to publish my first novel under a pen name (Fall 2021 ). I was offered a part-time teaching position at the School of Education ( which I accepted ). I gave webinars about autism. I was accepted as a candidate in the inaugural Holding Space Practitioner Certificate course. I met friends from around the World. I discovered that I can paint and sold a few paintings. I fell in love with my daily teaching practice at school and learned how to chant mantras.

I am now the biggest fan of Aum Gana Pataye Namaha … ( to remove obstacles in our lives ). A few weeks ago, I pressed ‘reset’ and decided to shift my thought patterns around my Mind/Body/Spirit connections. I’ve signed up for my second half-marathon in May 2021. I’m drinking more water and discovering pieces of me that had been left dormant for many years. As a Family, we fell more in love with the River House. A few days ago, my lifelong dream house, the one I had dreamt about since I have been a little girl, came up for sale. Howard’s House – as I called it. I grew up with this man, sharing laughs as my Dad and I visited him, and I had promised myself that I’d live by the River and enjoy the Sunsets one day. This year, I discovered the sunrises at the River House. We built a dock. I took incredible pictures and shared them with the World. My son told me that sunrises brought the Hope of a New Day with them – and he was right. It did – and it still does. I smiled and bid the new buyers a lifetime of memories as I went about creating my own here, in my own slice of Earth Paradise. Christmas is in a few days, and although we’re going into lockdown right after, I get to ‘rest’ my face from wearing my mask for an extra week because of a virtual teaching platform. I don’t have to travel to teach my adults. I get to do ALL of this … and guess what? 

It happened in 2020.

Merry Christmas ! xo

Ps: I have the cleanest hands and found black facial disposable masks … BONUS !

2 thoughts on “On Saying Thank You to 2020

  1. I appreciate what you shared with us, Anne. My mother always said: “Dans toute malchance, il y a toujours un fervent de bonne chance.” Que ton Noël en famille soit ton meilleur à date!


  2. Hi Anne, I can tell you that we have very parallel lives, especially in 2020. My husband now retired and a former heating and plumbing man, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer and he spent more than four months in hospital. At the same time, our son was diagnosed with two different types of cancer, having surgery as well, then 22 radiation treatments. My Mom also passed away in the past year. I have also taken care of my family and grandsons, explaining that we could do this if we pulled together and we did. Never before have we learned so much, in just one year. I learned to pray fervently, put my faith to the test, rely on others when able and learn to delegate. We are stronger than ever. I wish you and Bill and your family the very best today, tomorrow and forever. On January 1, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., for the first time ever, Hind Sight will actually be 2020.


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