2016......Worst Year Ever........Or Is It?
Everybody has been saying it for the last few days like a manta: 2016- WORST YEAR EVER!! And, in many respects, I agree. It certainly has been for celebrity deaths. There is absolutely no arguing that. The Grim Reaper is working overtime, especially on my generation. Let's recap, shall we?
- Lemmy- You tried to kill the GOD of metal. He can't truly die, but no new Motorhead....
- David Bowie- Maybe the most unique and inspirational artist of all time.
- Prince- That's just fucked up to take His Royal Badness. You get no pancakes, bitch.
- George Michael- I still have Faith.....and a great ass, to boot.
- Christina Grimmie- Beautiful voice and soul tragically murdered....another crazy fan.
- Chyna- The Ninth Wonder of the World was the most influential woman in wrestling ever.
- Muhammad Ali- Not a shocker, but it still sucked.
- Kimbo Slice- Bad ass motherfucker. 'Nuff said.
- Jose Fernandez- One of the 2 or 3 best up and coming young pitchers in MLB.
- Carrie Fisher- Seriously? In the middle of a new trilogy? That's just sick.
- Alan Rickman- America's favorite "villain". Team Snape forever!!
- Anton Yelchin- You were my favorite Chekov and gone WAY too soon.
- Florence Henderson- How the fuck do you take Mom Brady??
- Nancy Reagan- RIP, Mrs. First Lady. A total class act.
- Elie Wiesel- After surviving the camps you hoped he'd never die.
- Garry Shandling- A standup legend and the funniest ugly man ever, maybe.
- Gene Wilder- The most important comic actor of his day, maybe ever. Be with Gilda.
- Fidel Castro- Love him or hate him, he was revolutionary!
- John Glenn- Legend. Hero. Astronaut badass. Senator.
- Alan Thicke- He was the Dad you wanted to have in the 80's.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor- There will definitely never be another like her.
Now, that is a hell of a list. Many of those were gut punches to me and millions of others, especially the kids who grew up in the late 70's and 80's. That's the worst year that I can remember for celebrity deaths, though I don't certainly have all of the statistics.
But there is definitely more to life than the celebrities that we admire and occasionally idolize (ahem..........Lemmy). I would encourage you to take a look back at YOUR year before you lament 2016 as an evil harbinger worthy of the fires of Hell. Be realistic. As for me?
In the last year I lost my grandmother on my Mom's side, Dorothy Newton. She was an amazing example of what a good Christian should be and one of the hardest working people I've ever been privileged to love. She was also the prototype Southern Grandma- sassy, tough, affectionate, colorful, and unbelievably sweet. The world is lesser without her.
I also lost one of my Moms, Melissa Savoie. She succumbed to her MS and various other maladies, but you'd have never known she was as sick as she was. I sure didn't. My birth mother raised me...........Melissa walked me through the dark and often drug infested jungles of my late teens and twenties without a word of judgment or criticism. She loved big and hard. I love knowing she is no longer in pain; I hate that I'll never be able to call her up when I need a truly safe place to collapse and cry. I'm literally crying as I write this.
The later part of the year saw a family "falling out" that was stupid and unnecessary and ultimately ugly (as most of these things are). Now we have a hole in our lives where a beautiful baby used to run around our house on the daily, playing and yelling and cuddling and chasing the dogs. It hurts. I miss that little turd like you couldn't believe. Family shit can be so damn dumb sometimes, but there are some things you say and do that can't be easily undone. It is what it is.
Here comes the good part: IT'S NOT ALL BAD!! IT NEVER IS!! The Monroe family has so much to be thankful for. We had a shitload of incredible experiences this year and many continued blessings.
I continue to be blessed with the most beautiful, patient and loving wife a sick little fucker like me could ever hope to score. 21 years!! And my little girl is the most amazing creature I've ever known. She steals my heart daily. I'm able (financially and otherwise) to take care of my Mom and keep her safe and happy and protected. I'm a Mama's Boy, so that is some priceless shit right there. I have amazing "in-laws" that I would never call that because they are simply family.....amazing, cool as fuck family.
I'm not rich, but I have a good career with room to grow. I can afford to live more or less the way I would like to. My pantry is full. My Scotch glass is full. My car runs and I'm not totally in debt. I work with awesome people, and I have a fantastic that work for (with) me. I've got friends galore (even though my antisocial ass doesn't hang out much).
I have this blog, and some folks even read it regularly. I appreciate that. It strokes my ego and gives me an outlet to spew my unique form of............whatever the fuck it is that I am spitting out weekly.
This year I got to take my family to Wrestlemania 32 right here in Dallas, Texas!! We broke the indoor attendance record for WWE. We saw Shane McMahon fly off the top of the Hell in the Cell onto the Undertaker. We saw Mick Foley, Shawn Micheals, & STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN raise some hell. We witnessed maybe the goofiest and greatest entrance ever as The New Day literally came out of a giant box of Booty-O's cereal. You can't make this shit up. My baby girl cried tears of joy because she thought she'd never be able to see her favorite, Mick Foley.
This year I got to take my family to Texas Frightmare Weekend, a tradition for us. We met and got our pics with Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), Jason Vorhees (Kane Hodder), Gage from Pet Sematary (Miko Hughes), Traci Lords, The Candyman (Tony Todd), and many more!! We were actually in line talking to Freddy when David Arquette walked up and cut, then asked me to use his cell phone to take a picture of the two of them together. You can't pay for an experience like that. Incredible.
This year I got to take my family back to Jerry's World (aka AT&T Stadium in Dallas, site of the aforementioned Wrestlemania) to see Guns N' Roses. Did you hear me? I said GUNS N' FUCKING ROSES!! We're talking Axl, Slash, Duff and the boys!! We went to the fucking jungle!! To see my kid banging her head and rocking the fuck out to Night Train was a moment I'll cherish forever.
This year we, collectively, got a great new Star Wars film. HBO gave us Westworld, which is shaping up to be the best new show on TV. Negan told us that half of our shit is his.........and he's not fucking around, either. Metallica gave us a nasty as fuck and insanely thrashy new album with "Hardwired to Self Destruct". There is so much great shit out there to be stoked about.
The main thing, though? You're still kicking on this side of the dirt. You've probably had some bad shit happen to you this year, but I'd be willing to bet you've had your "Wrestlemania moments", too. At least I hope you have. If it truly has been a total shitfest for you then I am truly sorry. That's probably not the case though, is it?
You don't need a New Year's resolution to get shit going the way you want it, either. Remember that you have free will, and you are still in control of your own destiny. Take that shit....it's yours. If you just own your shit and handle your business you'll make it through the good and the bad. It's not as bad as THEY want you to believe. 2016 wasn't as bad as they want you to believe.
Like a lot of shit today it's just a cute internet phrase of the week that will pass before you know it. Keep your head up and do unto others as you'd have done to you.