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Don’t be too tough on 2016

2016.

People want it gone post haste. The year has been full of death and disappointment. Beloved celebrities left us and an obscene little man was elected president. While the latter may be remarkable, the former should be expected with an aging population. Trust me, the grim reaper won’t slack off in 2017.

No, I’m not so quick to wish this year a speedy departure.

2016 had both public and private triumphs. Though I’m not a Cubs fan per se, I joined in cheering their team to victory in the World Series. Don’t tell them 2016 was a bad year.

Personally, I completed the first phase of a film project about the amazing life of John L. Gualtier, a World War II veteran whose long life came full circle from victor to victim, back to victor again. I am particularly proud of being able to work with my sons on this project. Sam provided the illustrations and Andrew composed the film score. For Andrew, it marked the first year he actually made money doing what he loves. This is a major milestone for any artist.

Speaking of the arts, 2016 was fertile ground for many filmmakers, musicians and artists. In my opinion, any year that yields creative fruit should be celebrated.

This was the year I finally I found peace. Peace with who I am. Peace with what I’ve accomplished as a creative professional, husband, and father. Given the lifelong struggles with my mental health, that’s a pretty big deal for me.

My wife survived another year of grad school. With only one semester remaining and barring some unforeseen calamity, 2017 already promises to be a spectacular year when she graduates in May. That will mark the end of a six year journey which defined our lives.

Regardless of who died, I think we can all be thankful we lived.

Hats off to 2016 for allowing us that.

So let’s not be too quick to bid 2016 adieu, as we have no way of knowing what 2017 will bring. None of us can say for certain it won’t be the year when our number is up.

What we can be sure of is best expressed in that old standard by George and Ira Gershwin:

 

“…the Rockies may crumble

Gibraltar may tumble

They're only made of clay

But our love is here to stay…”

 

Indeed.

The only year that should be given the boot is the one that takes our love away.

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