No one is more happy to put 2021 in the past than me.
It was quite possibly the hardest and worst year for my family and I. And although my siblings and I are all grown adults, we’ve each had to do a little extra growing up in 2021. We’ve continued to navigate the unexpected loss of our Mama and a Daddy who was going through cancer treatments, grieving the loss of his wife and now having to take on tasks that she would normally take care of. Oh, and my Daddy has somehow managed to avoid testing positive for COVID throughout his treatments, despite my brother and I testing positive in early February.
We’d like to keep it that way. And throughout 2021, we sort of developed a system. My sister and I took care of the bills, my brother made sure the cars were gassed up and the grass was cut (including my yard), my sister and I swapped off preparing my Daddy’s medicine for the following morning, and we all took turns going to the grocery store for him, tying his shoes or doing something as simple as opening a jar. In a nutshell, if he wanted something, we made sure he had it.
Twenty twenty-one was also a year of learning - at least for me anyway. I learned a lot about insurance. My knowledge on insurance doesn’t go beyond knowing the insurance plans offered at work. I learned how to pronounce the names of medicines that looked like I just swiped my hand across the keyboard and which medicines my Daddy was supposed to take and how often (thanks to the notebook my Mama had with everything listed).
I also learned just how many people thought so highly of my Mama. After she passed away, I went on the funeral home website and read and re-read the comments from people expressing their condolences to my family. A lot of comments were from her regular customers when she worked at B.C. Moores, Peebles, and Goody’s or from friends from our church, neighbors, etc. While they were all different in their own way, they all circled back to what I already knew: “She was always a sweet and kind person,” “She was always so kind,” “The sweetest of sweet ladies, kind heart and caring,” “Sweet soul inside and out,” “She was a sweet, kind, goodhearted person.” That about sums her up. And if we’ve had the chance to meet one another, I hope you have those same opinions about me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for my parents.
One other thing I learned? Something as small as a 2.2 millimeter kidney stone can make you feel like you’re dying … Shout out to my sister for taking me to the emergency room the morning after my Mama’s funeral. In a few days, it’ll be one year since we lost my Mama. Not to sound like a dramatic teenager in a 28-year-old’s body, but January 14 was the worst day ever - a day that before 2021 didn’t have any sort of significance to it until my Mama passed away. I’ve heard people say that the first year without a loved one is the hardest, but does it ever truly get any easier?
With all of that being said, I’m hopeful that 2022 is going to pan out a lot better than 2021. At the start of 2021, I made a goal for myself to read at least one book each month. Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned (see above) so I’m going to give it another go. I’m also going to try to journal every day, which I’ve already been doing for a while. And I’m even going to try (again) to learn how to play my keyboard.
So, peace out 2021! Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya…
Kelly Duncan is a Staff Writer at The Clinton Chronicle. She can be reached at email@example.com.