I was still in a bit of shock at this time last year. My father had died a month earlier, my mother and I were physically and mentally exhausted, and I had to plan Christmas dinner for her, my husband, and my grandmother. His Majesty had lost his father two years earlier, my grandmother lost her husband a couple years before that, and we were all dealing with our grief. It didn’t exactly make for a happy holiday. Now, another year has gone by.
It seemed as if 2016 was going to ignore me these past 12 months in terms of casualties in my family or circle of friends, but that wasn’t to be. A former boss who turned into a very, very good friend succumbed to cancer. She survived it once, only it came back for her. Her daughters told me that when the doctors were suggesting hospice, she was talking about where she wanted to go for rehab. This woman refused to admit defeat, and gave cancer the middle finger the entire way. It didn’t rule her life, and she lived her way as long as she could, and on her terms as much as she could.
Professionally, I’ve been relearning how to write a novel. It’s not that I’ve forgotten as much as I simply haven’t had the time to sit down and channel my thoughts into anything more than a short story for a number of years. This will be the first full-length novel I’ve written since 2010. It feels good to have the first draft nearing completion. It makes me feel alive again, and that I’m getting back on my feet.
This year should have been a celebration of continued equality. Sadly, Donald Trump winning the presidency by clinching the Electoral College vote, not the popular vote, spells potential problems for the LGBTQ community, a community I am a proud member of. A number of organizations are already requesting that many of the protections the community has acquired be removed. These are people who want to be able to fire us from our jobs for being who we are, to deny us services for who we are, and want to take our right to marry each other away.
We will have four years of this, four years of living in greater fear because of how we were born. We’ll be wondering what the President of the United States, who is supposed to represent us all, is going to take away from us next. That’s not a good way to start the upcoming year.
Despite the adversity that may or may not appear, I picked His Majesty up from the airport yesterday, drove him home where he dropped his bag off, then we went and saw Rogue One at the theater. We turned on all the Christmas lights when we returned, made hot tea, he looked around the place we’ve spent three years building together, and then he looked at me.
“I’m glad I’m home. This is where I want to be.”
Between his saying that, knowing we’ll see my mother and grandmother again on Christmas day, and Little Brother and his husband joining us for New Year’s, there are far worse ways to spend the holidays. And I find I am extremely, extremely thankful for these things.
So from me to you and yours, an early Happy Holidays and/or Merry Christmas!