FEWWWW.... What a year this has been! So many changes have occurred over the last year.
Looking back: My paternal grandmother died Christmas Eve 2007 (in Jamaica). Her minister was off the island and she had to be "held" until January 10th, before her burial. Now if you know me, you know that I'm not fond of weddings, funerals or being noticed. (Looking at the body in the casket just really drives me nuts.) Anyway, the family really wanted me to read from the scripture or something. I politely declined, of course. I knew that any of that type of involvement would cause me to "PASS" the "COFFIN".
On the day of the funeral they were looking for someone to pick up collection in the church. So I figured, "what the heck, that seems well within the realm of my comfort zone". I diligently did my duty and finally ended up, yep you guessed it, at the coffin. I passed up dearly departed grandma, to get the minister to put his two cents into the collection bag. Most of the folks in the church were mortified that I approached the pulpit, holding out my bag for the minister to put money in. I can just imagine the whispers..."No way, she doesn't go to church on a regular basis","Where's she going, oh no she didn't", "Why is she approaching the reverend, I hope a no fi tek money fran him". Hey he's a part of the church, he should be putting money in the pot for the organ fund too, right?! (No the truth is, he beckoned me as I was walking down the isle with the collection bag.) So there I am, bag in hand and I realized...I had to pass the body AGAIN!!! I tried to slip by it without LOOKING in.
I went back into the rectory and turned over my stash. "Now how do I get back to the pew to sit with the rest of the family?" I walked out and there were six or seven people, sitting on pews just to the side of pulpit. I spotted my uncle, who needed to sit next to the door because of his medical problems. "Perfect, I'll just sit there until the end of the service, then I'll get back with my family." I took a seat next to this elderly gentleman. Before I knew it the minister turns to us and said "rise"... Well wouldn't you know it, "People, I was sitting in the middle of the mini choir and 'crap' I can't sing". Before I know it, I rose with them, was handed a book and told rather forcefully by the man next to me "109, 109". So I dutifully turned to song 109 and did what any smart girl on her feet would do...I belted out one hell of a LIP SYNC. Unfortunately for me, in Jamaica, they now have this nasty habit of taking photos at funerals. I looked up and there's the pesky photog taking a pic of ME...I looked over at my mother and her sister, they were red-faced, leaning on each other, with tears running down their cheeks. Yep you guessed it, they were laughing, hysterically, at ME! I looked forward to my cousins who were elbowing each other in the side and querying each other "Can she sing?". Even my blind aunt, who was told that I was up there, was squinting to see if she could get a glimpse of me. My father, at his mothers funeral, had tears running down his cheeks as he hid behind a program. "Poor thing" I thought, then I realized that he too was laughing at ME! I have to admit I too was hiding behind my song book laughing. After all that singing I figured out a way to make it back to my family in the pew. I later found out that that church is one of the most famous in the Caribbean and that they traditionally have a 100 person choir that sit up in the balcony. The Minister, Choir Director and members of the church all had a good laugh at the visiting songstress and I am now affectionately know to all as "109". So I decided, since the choir at one point had sung for the Queen of England and recorded an album I'm adding this to my resume.
No sooner than I returned state side, I was informed that my job in the city would be over; I found out that five people I know were diagnosed with Cancer (So far three of them are in remission, one is working through it and one is in the fight of her life.) I moved; lost money in my 401K; am looking for a job; got a year older and have arrived at reflection time.
Looking ahead: I'm putting last year behind me and taking with me only the lessons I have learned and the truth that anything is possible.
I hope everyone has a Happy and Successful 2009!!!