Saturday, December 31, 2016

"2016 Can Kiss My Ass!" and other Children's Favorites

I have to say that I've never experienced quite a year as this one. So many disappointments and heartbreak mixed with wonderful high points within a span of twelve months made it a roller coaster ride of emotion.

I'm not just talking about the loss of our heroes, whether they be actors, singers, writers, or whatever. I am talking about personal loss as well. Friends have lost spouses, parents, and other friends. My wife and I lost a dear pet, a miniature dachshund, to megaesophagus, a condition that causes a loss of control of the esophagus, making it very difficult to eat and causing pneumonia and other fun things.

We lost our dear Penny after a brief but painful fight. We were unable to say goodbye to her as the vet had her sedated by the time we arrived. I think I will forever be second guessing our actions, thinking of other things we could have done to save her life. However, what is done is done, and she's gone. We will forever miss our loving diva. In the days that followed her death, all I wanted to do was break down and scream.

Click here for Tom Petty - Room At The Top

On the positive side, we were able to extend a home to another dachshund through Midwest Dachshund Rescue, a little rascal named Parker, a two year old survivor of a puppy mill. He is wild and funny and gives Luke and Moxie, our other two doxies, an energetic playmate.

The loss of music icons like David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson, and so on, were and always will be, devastating. They and others like authors Harper Lee, Pat Conroy, and Jim Harrison shocked the literary world. Beloved actors, George Kennedy, Abe Vigoda, Doris Roberts, and perhaps most surprisingly and supremely tragic, Carrie Fisher followed almost immediately by her mother, Debbie Reynolds. There's a vast collection of others that I've not listed here. I just can't bring myself to do it. These great people fell like dominoes this year.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right. You usually are, and I have to agree with you that I am sensitive to these losses. Why? Because these people have dedicated their lives to entertaining the masses. Us. They are in the limelight all the time, and take quite a bit of criticism and sometimes, even abuse from their 'fans'. These people become a part of our lives and we should feel sadness when they pass.

Then there's the cop shootings, and this bizarre presidential race. I just don't know what to think of it all. Such negativity, hatred, racism, I cannot stomach it. Facebook and Twitter have been a nightmare to deal with this year and it seemed to get worse even after it was over. Being an author, I need to keep my Facebook active, but I find myself using it less and less. It's exhausting reading the bad news, memes based on lies, and reading the hateful comments in the threads. It's disgusting.

On the other hand, there are those that have suffered worse than my wife and I this year, by far. I read their posts and feel the desperation of their loss. For me, being unable to do a thing about it is the worst of it.

But hey, I don't want to be all doom and gloom here. I'm writing, editing, carrying on and will be trying to attend more events. I need to concentrate on local fans and book fairs, I'm tired of driving hundreds, yes, hundreds of miles to sell a handful of books. In 2017, I'll be making the rounds nearer to home.

So, there are those friends and family that are having health issues and other challenges. I'm not talking about just mine, but yours, too. Let's all keep them in our thoughts and remain hopeful and helpful. As a nation, we need to show one another more kindness and understanding than ever before. And for the love of crap, people, don't believe every damn thing you read on the internet! Check your sources before sharing these 'news' items on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever the hell else you use.

*Sigh. Anyway, I digress.

I leave you with this: For each and every one of you, may you have a very good new year. Help make 2017 a year of positivity and truth. May you have peace, love, and joy in the new year.

Have a toast to absent friends and...let's be careful out there.

"Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have faith you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on"

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