2014 has just a few short hours left. How is that possible? Where did the time go? Saying goodbye is never easy and 2014 was a year of goodbyes for me. Goodbyes suck. Even when they are opening up the door to something else, there is a pain and mourning that goes with each one. And I had a lot of them this year, A LOT.
Tonight I sat and walked through the goodbyes of 2014. From the beginning of the year where relationships that needed to be parted ways with were, saying goodbye to living in the city and the neighborhood I loved, transitioning to a new job, and the hardest part of all, each patient I said goodbye to. My heart aches and the tears roll down my face as I reflect back on 2014. It was a hard year. There are moments from this year that contained the word “goodbye” that have forever changed the feelings that are brought up with that word. There were goodbyes where I screamed and asked God “why?” because to be honest many of the goodbyes were nothing of what I wanted.
But through it all I’ve clung to my word of the year – Anchor. My God is my anchor. My family is my anchor. My friends are my anchor. And though there are many things from 2014 where I did not understand why things were happening. Where the grief I felt for things seemed to run through the core of me I cling to the sweet promises that I know are true. That my God is real. That my God is loving. That my God is faithful.
As much as I hate those goodbyes though, I also smile with tears of gratitude in my eyes thinking about my sweet breast cancer patient who taught me so much and was so hard to say goodbye to and saying goodbye to my sweet patient who taught me that hugs truly can be victory dances. I remember after all of this, I didn’t choose my job because it was easy and knew that one the parts of my job would be tough conversations and hard goodbyes.
Oh my goodness am I beyond thankful that as a result of one of those goodbyes in my personal life, I got this incredible community out of it, because they were the great on the other side of the good I had to let go of. There were dreams and ideas I had to say goodbye to, and embrace my life where it was right at that moment.
I take many goodbyes with me from this year, but I also take lessons and strength. From what life has taught me this year and especially what my patients and their loved ones have taught me, and part of that is that I need cancer patients. 2014 while tough, has challenged me to not settle for good when great could be just one goodbye or one big leap away. I will continue to heed the wise advice of my patients to live life with boldness and to never settle for less than great (especially when it comes to marriage).
I step into the next year remembering that both my job and life will not necessarily ever get easier, but I will continue to get stronger. I will take my anchor(s) with me. I will take the strength I gained from this year and I am ready to chase 2015 with all I have.