Dear 2014

2014 2

As I look back I can’t actually say that I’m not sorry to see you go!  This is unusual, because historically I’ve always believed that I’ve faired better in even numbered years…. but no, not you 2014.

Surgery on my foot, in January, left me sitting on the couch for weeks, walking on crutches, limping, wearing flats and watching my body deteriorate due to the lack of movement. However, the surgery was a great success and I was eventually (after everything healed) pain free!  Hmmm, not as bad as I thought. ok, thanks 2014.


In February I travelled to Marrakech, with a friend.  The trip had been planned long before the foot surgery was, so even though I had to go while still on crutches, I wasn’t missing this trip for anything! Traveling while on crutches is a pain in ass! Just walking is difficult enough, now try carrying your handbag, pulling a suitcase, getting through the metal detectors!!!! However, experiencing Marrakech, seeing crowds of people open a path for the old lady on crutches, having the oddity of being partially disabled ignite conversations with the locals was priceless. The trip would have been totally different had I been able bodied. Ok, thanks again 2014.


In March, Nick and I visited Coombs Farm; a local farm where they have the usual farm animals and homemade local treats. Except we didn’t visit on just any spring day…  this was apparently “birthing day!” Cow’s, sheep, goats… it seemed there were new born babies, everywhere!  While in the sheep barn a young farm worker asked me if I wanted to hold a lamb that was just an hour or so old. “Hell yeah!,” I believe was my immediate response.  Any mother, father (or person) who has ever held a newborn baby, understands the feelings of awe and wonderment.  Well, it isn’t much different holding a newborn baby lamb.  The experience brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.  What a lovely day.  Ummm? thank you again 2014.


In early May, after 33.5 years, I left American Express. It was not a pleasant parting; it was more like an uncomfortable, but necessary divorce. We had grown tired of each other and realized that our fundamental core beliefs were very different. There were no hard feelings, just a realization that we weren’t good for each other any more and that parting would be beneficial for both of us. The break-up didn’t kill me. It didn’t leave me wondering who I was. I didn’t feel lost or useless. It actually gave me a new lease on life and opened up my mind to countless possibilities! I was alive for the first time in a long time! I realized that I was not defined by my job, and that I could be anyone and anything I wanted to be. I was not just a “Project Manager,” there was a whole host of options for me. Wow! Thank you 2014!


In May, I turned 60 years old. I was dreading this birthday!  How in God’s name did I get to be 60 years of age? At most, I’m like 35!!!  I don’t feel 60.  I hope I don’t look 60. Oh my goodness, my brother was dead at 60. How did this happen? This was some serious shit!  However, as the day approached, I became more and more “okay” with it. I could do this!  I mean seriously, “Look at me!”  I’m fucking 60! I feel good, I’m happy, I’m loved, I have had an amazing life. I have no regrets, ok… I’ll take 60, thankfully!  Thank you 2014!


In late May, I attended an art exhibition (that turned out to be so much more than an art exhibition!) There I met Antonia, Nigel, Peter, Mandy and many more lovely, dedicated people, who are as interested and involved in the comfort, love and care of people who are dying, as I am.  This was a life changing event presented to me by none other than the universe!  Thank you 2014!

a graceful death

In June I attended (prompted by the amazing people I met at “A Graceful Death”) Soul Midwifery training, in Dorset. There I met more amazing, compassionate, loving, selfless women all dedicated to serving those who are sick and dying. I am honored and proud to be a part of the tribe known as “Soul Midwives.”  Thank you 2014.

 Screen shot 2015-01-01 at 11.40.05 AM

In late June I travelled to the US and attended the wedding of my best friend’s son, who I had known since he was born. I had the best time visiting with Joyce and got to visit my oldest daughter and grandsons as well.  Thank you 2014!

On July 5th the world as I knew it came crumbling down. Arielle called to tell me she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  I hate you 2014! I seriously, fucking hate you and everything about you. It was horrible. Unthinkable. Earth shattering.  …but, it didn’t kill me. And now I realize that through that horrific experience, I became acutely aware of how many people care about me and my family and I received an outpouring of love and compassion that I had never felt (to that degree) before in my life. I felt a renewed sense of love towards my family and friends and started looking at life (and death) as the natural order of things. Oddly, this experience didn’t kill me. It won’t kill her.  It has made us both stronger!  Thank you 2014!


In November we sold the “Money Pit,” and although I loved my home and knew I’d miss it terribly… when it sold I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders. I expect one day to be walking by 18 Brunswick Terrace and see the entire building in a big pile of rubble, spilling into the sea…  I was blessed to have lived there for 2 1/2 years, but it was time to move on.  Thank you 2014.


In November my brother Tommy was diagnosed with lung cancer. Fuck me! I seriously could not make this shit up!  Whatever I was supposed to learn from from all the other times cancer came into my life, apparently I did not learn it. The lesson was presenting itself to me again.  I think I finally get it… I have no control. I have no control over anything, except my reaction to the things that happen to me and around me. I get it now.  I love my brother with all my heart, but he will eventually die, as we will all eventually die. I have no control over when, where, or how… I can only love him and cherish the memories I have of him, as one of the best (of two) big brothers in the whole world. Thank you 2014.


December came, the weather grew cold, and we moved into a new place. The ceiling fell down; I got sick (again); Arielle got sick; Christmas wasn’t exactly as I had imagined it would be… but because I’m now tired of reliving 2014 (and you’re most likely bored or gone by now!) I’ll close by saying, “Thank you 2014!” You totally sucked, but what a year for growth, love, friendship, compassion, faith, realization and most importantly love!

Dear 2015, I’d appreciate it if you could be a little softer and less keen to teach me so many lessons.

Dear 2015 1


  1. Melissa – you are an amazing woman!!! You kicked ass last year and I only wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year. Love from Woosta!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done Melissa…I’m sure many other things went on for you as well, but you highlighted the most impactful. I had no idea about the AE experience. Life after it is wonderful…but working for them and all the benefits they provided made it possible for me to walk away and not work again. Would love to see photos of your new place when it is ‘re-assembled’! Yeah, 60 is freaky especially when you are 59 and you just do not want to walk through that door, but once in…big deal! Being healthy in this age bracket and in the years to come is HUGE. Stay moving! Wishing you and Nick and your girls and grandsons a great New year. Happiness comes from the inside, only jolted here and there by outside circumstances. Its what’s inside that counts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, my good friend, it was a year of real life experiences! We must continue in the things which we have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom we have learned them. (2 Timothy 3:14) May the New Year be a year of Joy for you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep I can simpathise that won’t be remembered as a great year but whooa you have grown and learnt so much ! You arr a truly inspiring lady and I feel lucky to intertwine paths with you . I’m sure 2015 will be truly special . Admiration love and light xx

    Liked by 1 person

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