In 2008, I voted for Change just like most American’s… but 2009 has brought Change I didn’t vote for.
January started off well… On the 20th you may remember, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. What you might not remember is that on the same day, one of my best friends, Jil Littlejohn, was elected to Greenville City Council!
February was the month Jil was sworn in, but other than that, it was a quiet month….
March is when things began to change… starting with my trip across country. I drove from Greenville, SC to Scottsdale, AZ to deliver our 2002 Camry to my mom… she did not know I was coming and was excited to see me. Somewhere along the way I found out that my relationship of 8 years was coming unravelled, something I knew beforehand but thought was just a phase. After an argument w/ my family and a long distance back and forth trying to figure out what exactly the problem was w/ my relationship I decided to cut my trip short and fly home early. Later that month we moved from our 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Mauldin/Simpsonville area to a 1 bedroom condo in Cleveland Park, just off Augusta Street.
April and May saw little change on the surface but underneath things were happening.
Then came June. That’s the month that we saw the death of Micheal Jackson and the unofficial death of my relationship… why unofficial? Because I don’t think relationships are really over until Facebook says so… so on July 4th, while no one was watching, I changed my status from “In a Relationship” to “Single”, a change most of you PROBABLY still don’t know about. That was the biggest change of the year… something I am just within the last few weeks finally being okay with.
The end of July beginning of August was fun.. I meet some new friends and went through a bit of a change. Sometimes I think I became to open w/ my emotions to a feeling with a group of people I really didn’t know.. it all works out in the end anyway I guess.
September, October and November I worked on dealing with being single privately while still trying to go go go, 24/7. Finally it got to me… All of the walls I had taken down and opened up were closed. I closed a door I wish I hadn’t and said somethings I wish I hadn’t, I guess they were just things I said to protect myself. I did fly to Florida with some friends to watch the Space Shuttle take off, of course, it didn’t! But we had fun anyway! Also in November another one of my best friends was elected to public office. John Tynan won a hard fought campaign to be Greenville’s newest Water Commissioner!
Then December. Early in the month I received word that my uncle was back in Hospice and that my grandmother had taken a turn for the worst. One December 14th I hauled butt to North Carolina to be with my uncle… that week I was back and forth… Thursday night about 9pm I received a call saying come now, so I went. We stayed up all night with him and on Friday it began to snow, not wanted to be stuck I decided I would go by my uncles to see my grandmother, take a nap because I had not slept up until that point and then come home.
(Side Note) If you know me well enough, you know how much my grandmother means to me. I spend a lot of time with her when I was growing up,and being the oldest of her grandchildren that were around, I always felt like her favorite, something my dozen other cousins would disagree with. She now has Alzheimer’s and has really taken a turn for the worst in the last few weeks.
back to December 19th… so that morning I went to my uncles and said hello to my grandmother, she replied with her usual “hi” and I asked her a few questions.. how are you doing, did you sleep well, do you need anything and I received one word replies to each.. “okay”, “yeah”, “no”. I then said “I love you”. She looked back and me and said “Who are you?” My insides fell apart. I had always said the day she didn’t know I would fall apart.. but I held it together long enough to give her a kiss and leave. That was one LONG drive back to Greenville. I sent Jeremy a text telling him what had happened and he replied with “oh no”. I hung out at home that night, didn’t really do much, and finally about 11pm I send him another text asking for a dozen donuts. He said okay but wanted to know if I had slept, when I said no he recommended I take an Ambien and go to bed… so I did. December 20th I woke up around 12:30pm, layed in bed a bit then picked up my phone…. 32 missed calls…. I knew that could only mean one thing… my uncle had finally stopped fighting. The rest of the weekend was filled with stories from years past, before things started to change. The funeral was quiet honestly the hardest funeral I have ever attended. I was a paul bearer and another cousin played taps. A flag draped coffin and a 21 gun salute made it impossible to hold back the tears, but if my Aunt Dianne could do it, I would try. Some would say I have a ton of friends, and truth be told I probably do, but I felt strangely alone… the one person I felt closest too for the last eight years is gone, all of my other friends are really “new” friends. But Courtney took good care of me, she watched the dogs every time I would call and say “I am going to Lexington”, she was with me ever second she could be, all while dealing with her own grandfathers death on the 14th.
Christmas Eve I went home to Lexington for the first time in 9 years. It was a bittersweet trip. I missed my uncle not being there and a feel sure it was the last Christmas Eve my grandmother will be here.
So see, this year was full of changes, changed I didn’t vote for and would not have wanted to happen.. changes that hurt and changes that were overdue. Change is not always a bad thing.. after all, the only people aren’t changing are dead.
2009 wasnt all bad. I meet a ton of new people all of which are cool, but Brad and Mikey stand out the most. I now have a sweet new car and condo and a new group of friends…
The funny part is that half of my friends never knew half of this was going on… BUT one of my New Years Resolutions is to be a little more open, selectively open, with people around me. I have always been a fiercely private and independent person and that has alienated a few people I wish it hadn’t.. so here’s to 2010… may it be filled with ever more change.. all for the better.