Reflections on 2016

At the end of a year, it is a good time to reflect and project forward.  If an individual is blessed to have mental and physical health, then he or she is blessed.  In my case, I lost weight in order to address my blood pressure.  I joined a gym in order to keep up my physical health.  At 53 years of age I feel like I am in good enough shape to be effective in taking care of my family going forward.  George Michael, a renowned performer, died in his sleep on Christmas Day in London.  We lost Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds recently.  Prince died as a result of a drug overdose earlier this year.  It has been a tough year for famous people including David Bowie.

My granddaughter Malayja turned three in November.  It has been such a joy seeing her grow.  She is staying with us this weekend and will celebrate the New Year with us.  We had a nice birthday party at Chuck E Cheese's in Delaware County.  We had our annual Christmas Eve party.  We also had our usual Thanksgiving Day dinner at our house.  We sold one of our properties this year and were able to upgrade the house with furniture and a new television.  I put out a lot of trash and recycling today as I wanted to keep things moving here.

Health wise, it was a challenge for some people that are close to me.  My Mom had to have a pacemaker installed.  She will be blessed to turn 85 in March.  Mom Helen has some health challenges and my sister Kia is working very hard to help her during this period.  I worry about Aunt Connie as she is struggling with the house and needed repairs.  She lost the truck this year after keeping it for 23 years in memory of Pop Brown.  Uncle John just celebrated his 80th Birthday on December 4th, 2016 and we celebrated.  Raeesah will be 25 next year and we look to celebrate at Dave & Buster's.  Uncle Paul seems to be doing well and he celebrated Christmas with us.

One of the highlights of my year was being hired by First Philadelphia Charter School as a School Family Liaison.  It was such an honor to be considered for the position by Dr. Joseph Gillespie.  He has been such a blessing as a Friend, Mentor and Boss.  I was working as a Recruiter at Children's Choice.  My job was to pre-qualify potential Foster Parents.  I left that job in July.  In November, the whole recruiting department was laid off.  Talk about perfect timing for me.  I love the job at First Philly and look forward to 2017.  I also spent time substitute teaching on behalf of Charter School Services.  Last year at this time, it was no work and no pay.  Personally, I am so thankful and blessed this year.  Thanks Joe!!

I was saddened this year by terrorist attacks in France and Germany.  At least 84 people were killed in Nice, France when a man driving a tractor trailer drove through a Bastille Day celebration.  The horror of getting run over by a 40,000 pound vehicle is just overwhelming.  At least 12 people were killed in Berlin as another man drove a truck through a Christmas celebration.  I shudder to think about the carnage there while celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.  The savagery exhibited during these attacks is astounding.  Terrorists killed innocent people in Somalia and Turkey in June.  God Bless those lost souls and I pray for increased peace in 2017.

Shawn and I will hang out at Harrah's on Saturday.  Due to our grandparent status, we will be back home by 10:00 PM on the 31st.  We will attend the annual New Year's Day cookout at Broad & Ellsworth.  We are heading to Atlantic City tonight to enjoy a $32.00 room.  We struggled this year but were able to attend the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the Family Reunion and Homecoming.  The goal now is to get Alonna to finish up her degree.  I appreciated 2016 for all of its ups and downs.  The downs were more a result of job struggles than anything else.  Thanks to all my Family and Friends for the love sent my may.  I surely love you all back!!    

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