This year is in danger of being remembered for what it took.
But woe to us if we forget what 2016 gave.
2016, you wily beast, you gobbled entirely too much goodness.
You took Princess Leia and her Mom.
You took Morgan.
You took Sharon Jones.
You took a toll that makes us tremble in a weary land across the sea.
You took us down to our weary elements right here.
You took the guy who wrote Watership Down.
You took Adelaide.
You took Prince.
You took Mario.
You took Leonard Cohen.
You took my mentor.
You took Skittles, Hocus, Bo, Queen, Pyewacket, Oscar, Abby, Bunk, Eve, Phaedra, Racquel, Goldie, Chester, Shelby, Rupert, Toya, Pollen, Hildegarde, Dawg, CK, Mango, Columbo…
You took and you took and you took until we started to expect your greed to keep going, grasping and guillotining our hopes and our childhood heroes and our hearts for each other.
But, 2016, no year is beyond redemption. We remember the good. We remember the Cubs, and the end of Ebola, and the Olympics, and This is Us, and Harriet Tubman on the $20, and the Hamilton Mixtape, and Bucca’s arrival,* and ten trillion tiny victories and life-size loves. We remember the ways we came together, the new dreams that were born, the hope that no year can kill. We will have hearts for each other, whatever your final days douse us with.
We remember the cats who made their debut, and we linger on them right here. If we should wipe 2016 from history, we’d have to go without Fire, and Seeso, and Grace, and galumphing hordes of goodness.
We won’t go without the goodness.
If you ask these wee faces, 2016 was one delicious dazzler of a year. They rather enjoy this business of being alive. Where would they be without 2016?
Where would they be without you, relentlessly, radically generous friends?
Where would we be without each other?
Please join me in refusing to remember 2016 for its indignities alone. Abundant reminders of all the good abound elsewhere, so here we simply draw attention to the most Tabbular examples.
Oh 2016, as we cast you into the flames of Mt. Doom and welcome 2017 like a long-lost lover, we thank you for the gifts you gave. May we never take for granted the hopes and hearts born amid the madness.
Take heart, kittens; something new is always being born.
2017, you sweet sparkling creature, come to mama.
*Unquestionably one of the best things that happened to me in 2016. You have your equivalents. Celebrate them.