You won't be missed by me. If you were a person I would choke you to death with my bare hands.
You have taken so much from me. You have taken one of my best friends and role models. You have taken my father. You have taken my only sibling. You have taken my sense of safety in my home. You have taken my innocence. You have killed whoever I was before you showed up.
Thank you, you difficult terrible year.
You taught me that I can do anything. And I mean anything. I made my father's funeral arrangements. I drove myself 4 hours round trip to pick up my brother's ashes. I have held my sons while they shook with grief over the loss of their favorite (only) Uncle. I went to bed in my house alone with a backdoor that barely shut after it was kicked in by thieves who stole my family heirlooms. I have eulogized the best person I have ever known. I have hired two lawyers, attended four funerals, and cried in public innumerable times.
But I have survived you.
I even found some ways to thrive.
I enjoyed dates with charming men (and some not so charming men). I hunted horseshoe crabs with my boys on a deserted beach. I laughed until tears rolled down my face with my best girlfriends on the dock by the bay. I have thrown birthday parties and lively dinners. I made new friends. I drank cold beer and sat late into the night by bonfires. I hugged so tightly so many. I ate fried green tomatoes and charred octopus. I danced in the street. More than once.
I didn't die. I'm still here.
I'm still here, but when midnight strikes you'll be gone.
The struggle and pain you've brought has opened my eyes to the beauty of this life, the great awesomeness of being alive. Without you I wouldn't know the depth of true friendship. Without you I wouldn't have risked vulnerability so easily or often. Without you I wouldn't have finally forgiven myself. Forgiven him. Forgiven us all. Without you I would still be afraid. I am no longer afraid.
I got this.
So 2014, I still want to stab your eyes out with a plastic fork. But since you are neither animate nor in possession of eyes, I'll be content just to leave you with these parting words:
Kiss my grits.