What a year, right?
For me, it was a wildly mixed bag. At the absolute top of the list, Nicole and I were married in October and that is enough for me to think warmly about 2016. I'm going to have the pleasure of spending the rest of my life with her, which I was probably going to do regardless, but now we have special rings which grant us powers beyond the ken of mere mortals. I think that's how wedding rings work. I probably ought to read up on that.
On a lesser but nonetheless delightful note, Leicester City Football Club won the English Premier League, and won it by an impressive margin. I've been follow the Foxes since the 1990s and their triumph is easily the most shocking occurrence in sport I've ever seen. They were listed as 5000-1 long shots and it would have been fair to regard them as unrealistically optimistic. They've returned to their expected form so far this year, which is to say, relegation is a real possibility, but that title will be on the books forever.
The many, many celebrity deaths hurt, of course, but they didn't hit me as hard as seeing video after video of law enforcement officers abusing and killing unarmed black people, most of the time without any repercussions. If there is no "justice for all," there is no justice at all. For me, this was the biggest horror story of 2016, even more so than the election of Donald Trump. Don't get me wrong. I believe that Trump's election is an unmitigated disaster and one that will exact a price for decades to come, but when the utter corruption of the criminal justice system is exposed and not punished?
On a personal note, the year ended badly. My father was badly injured in a car crash last week. He survived, but suffered seven broken ribs, a broken knee, and a collapsed lung. He remains in intensive care and it's unlikely he'll be leaving the hospital in January. Seeing him there reminded me of Guy Clark's "Desperados Waiting For A Train" (covered her by Jerry Jeff Walker):
"To me, he's one of the heroes of his country, so why's he all dressed up like them old men?"
Combined with a really tough few months at work, last year ended badly and I've struggled to keep myself moving forward. I approached 2017 with tremendous hope but no expectations.