2016

2016 you’ve been a shit year. People who say: “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … 2016 has been great!” OK, maybe for you personally it has been, so mazel to you! It was the Chinese year of the Monkey, meaning an unpredictable year. Ya don’t say?! Besides Beyonce’s surprise gift of the visual album Lemonade, I’m gonna tell you why 2016 has been shit-tastic:

  • It started off by our Carolina Panthers loosing Superbowl 50 after an amazing 2015 season. It’s still a sore subject in our household.
  • Then it gave us the Zika virus. Not only did it take a big dump on tropical tourism and like oh yeah, and all those Olympic athletes weren’t too keen on going to the Zika mecca either … but it still has a lot of uncertain and serious health issues associated with it.
  • We’ve had some natural disasters like the floods in Louisiana, Hurricane Matthew and the Wildfires across NC & TN.
  • Awful terrorist attacks. Like the largest mass shooting in American history that attacked our LGBTQ community at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Now they’re using cars to take lives like we’ve seen in Nice and Berlin. Unfortunately the list goes on with this one.
  • So much unrest with our communities and the police force. Innocent lives taken like the ones of Alton Sterling, Terrence Crutcher & Philando Castle. Unjust retaliation of a sniper taking the lives of 5 police officers in Dallas. Then it hit right here at home with the protesting in uptown Charlotte.
  • The Oscars being so white.
  • The Cincinnati Zoo incident with Harambe.
  • Not one, but two deadly alligator attacks.
  • The plane crash in Columbia that took the 71 lives of Brazil’s soccer team.
  • The civil war and refugee crisis in Syria.
  • Brexit.
  • This terrible no good very bad election. It gave us fake news, emails, Russian hackers, pussygate and now ultimately Trump.
  • And regardless of the outcome, it means we have to say goodbye to Obama … and I’m not emotionally stable to see such a classy first family as themselves exit our White House.
  • The music icons it took: Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Phife Dog, Leonard Cohen, Natalie Cole, Merle Haggard, Maurice White, Sharon Jones.
  • Hollywood Stars we lost: Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Garry Marshall, Florence Henderson, Alexis Arquette, Garry Shandling, Charmaine Carr, Ron Glass, Doris Roberts.
  • Influential people that are no longer with us: Haper Lee, Nancy Reagan, Muhammed Ali, Arnold Palmer, Gwen Ifill, Jose Fernandez, Pat Summitt, John Glenn.

And of course the most important person that 2016 took was our son, Baby Boy Hurtt. Believe me, I had the highest hopes for 2016. As 2015 came to a close (which was such a wonderful year) our thought was: “It’s just gonna keep going up from here!” Man, were we wrong. No one could have ever prepared me for the world’s worst loss. At times I feel I’m living in a nightmare, that this cannot be real life. Like there’s no way at the age of 31 that I’m dealing with the loss of my one and only first born child. Then there are other times where I have this very suspicious feeling of deja vu, that somehow I knew this was going to happen. I touched on this in my blog post of how we lost our son. Things just felt too good to be true in life. I never allowed myself to get too excited about my pregnancy. I also never envisioned my son outside of seeing his sonograms. Not until I held him lifeless in my arms is when I saw our never future flash before me. So many surreal moments that I’m able to look back at now with eerie-like clarity.

But one thing 2016 cannot take away from me, I became a mother this year. While my child may not be here for me to physically feed, clothe or hold – it does not make me any less of a mother. The day I gave birth to him was collectively the best and worst day morphed into one. He made me a mom that day but I lost the gift of parenting him. Yet I thank him everyday for the gifts he has given me. Like compassion, empathy, patience, philanthropy and writing. Something that I will never loose, the love. My love for him is strong, fierce and everlasting.

For those of you who have written or spoke to me about how my son has made an impact on you, thank you. I can’t even begin to explain how much it means to me to know he is touching the lives of others. For mothers who have experienced similar losses, you’ve told me by telling my son’s story, it has helped you with your grief. To the mothers who are fortunate enough to have their children with them, you’ve expressed how much patience and gratitude my son has given you towards your living children.

One saying from our support group that has always stuck with me is “In times of need and grief, friends will become strangers and strangers will become friends.” The out-pour of love and support from some of most unexpected people, I’m in awe of. You continue to be there in ways I never could’ve imagined.Β What I’ve learned is that compassion comes from within. It cannot be forced and it has to be given freely, without expectations of something in return. Although some relationships have been tested through our loss and resulted into strangers. At the end of this hard year, we are surrounded with more love and support than I ever had anticipated. A huge thank you to those individuals who have gotten us through 2016, we truly wouldn’t have survived without each and everyone of you.

So here’s to 2107! The year of the Rooster, meaning new beginnings, bringing fidelity and trust. All things I know we (and also the world) need ❀

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