As I sit and think about the previous 364 days of my life I begin to feel a myriad of emotions (laughter, sadness and joy). Several lines from one of my favorite poems (Mother to Son – Langston Houghes) describes my experience this year….”Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor---Bare.”
This year has been one of personal challenge. My biggest heart break was having to bury my oldest sister. You see my siblings are not just my siblings they are also my closest friends. I was especially close to Jackie. She was the oldest and I the youngest of the Wadley clan…"bookends". And to see her struggle with health issues over the last 4 -5 years before her passing was tough for all of us. She and I would talk at least 4 times a week prior to her becoming acutely ill. My intellect helps me understand that she is in a better place and finally at peace, however, my heart is not so understanding I miss her dearly. I love and cherish my surviving siblings and our relationships. I know the loss of our sister has changed each of us in different ways. We all have a unique and different bond.
I have enjoyed seeing my great nephews (Cameron, Myles, Dylan and Grey) grow up. While I endured the loss of my eldest sister God gave renewed hope as I saw Grey get older and stronger after being born premature at 1lb 7oz and spending exactly 100 days in the hospital. Grey (aka Little Warrior) has just started walking and is a testament of God’s grace and power of prayer. On June 19th Jackie made her transition to be with the Lord and exactly one month later (July 19th) Grey celebrated his first birthday. Thinking about the amazing power of God’s love and presence in these two situations alone takes my breath away. These little boys have my heart and I know how much they truly love their Uncle Ronald. They bring such joy to my life even though we live many miles apart. They are the children I will never have.
On a personal level, my life has been up and down when it comes to love everlasting. It has been filled with disappointment, joy and some extreme heartbreak. However, the experiences have been interesting and God has had a hand in each situation. I want to go into 2014 loving more and surrounding myself with those that know how to and are willing to love in return. I can no longer worry about those that are unwilling to take this journey with me. Life is short and I want more joy than sorry when necessary. My close friends keep me laughing on days when things are not going so well (little do they know). I thank God for their presence in my life.
Ever since 2001 when I came to the realization the possibility of a long life is not guaranteed from one day to the next I vowed to take one BIG vacation annually. I have kept that promise to myself all but one year since. This year I went to Sint Maarteen (Dutch spelling/pronunciation) and had a great and relaxing time. This was only my second time taking a vacation with someone and it was great. Kenny and Joe are great guys and kept me laughing daily. To be in the presence of kind and loving people is a blessing. We had not seen each other in about 8 years but you would have thought we were neighbors. It was good to get away and not think about anything happening back here in Chicago. I still have some of my tan….YEAH!!! What happened in Sint Maarteen stays in Sint Maarteen (Big Ass Smile). Now I have to start planning for 2014.
I live a very blessed life at the end of the day. You will never see me host a pity party for that is not my style. While it is not a crystal stair, my life is filled with unmeasurable joy and blessings. I thank you all for each part you have played in my life. I pray that we all continue to recognize our blessings in 2014.