And so, it’s Christmas and what have you done? If any are familiar with this epic tune by John Lennon, you know what I am talking about…I am being introspective.
The year of our Lord, twenty sixteen has been both superb and devastating.
I started off the year by training a new wingwalker. I did this because I felt that there was a real lack of continuity and mentorship happening within wingwalking.
That was my main motivation. What I discovered however, went far beyond training. I found a new friend, a real one. That is a rare and precious commodity in this day and age. I count this among one of the true blessings of the year.
The team had just come off of three consecutive years of televised series in Canada as well as world wide. A single one of these shows, netted us around 208 million viewers world wide. We were not taking any breaks and went directly into filming for the most widely viewed channel in Europe. Hot of that, we made a 360 degree video that garnered 3.7 million views and landed us a firm foothold in the archives of humanity.
It seemed like we were untouchable and then it happened, the first of my pilots met with a devastating end in early spring. His loss impacted me in a very serious way and changed the tone of the team for me. His passing drove home the very serious nature of what we were all doing and for me, this meant getting serious about the business of staying alive.
The season went on and suddenly, it got worse. Another of my pilots perished. To say that his death impacted me would be the understatement of the millennia. It shattered me. It broke me. I will never be the same.
The outpouring of support from friends and strangers alike helped buoy me through some very difficult times. I owe you all a great debt of gratitude for your thoughtfulness and concern. I owe his family and loved ones more. They opened their homes and hearts to me at a time when they were suffering far more than I.
Time moves forward slowly but it does move on, as must we all. The year has seen me waffle through much indecision, doubt and introspection. The end result is simple. I am a wingwalker, therefore I wingwalk.
When my former husband passed along with all of my former, early mentors, about a decade ago, I felt very disconnected from the world. This latest salvo, however, had left me feeling utterly abandoned. I still feel this way even given all the love and encouragement that I continue to receive. I suspect that it will last for a while but I am okay with it. The hard part is remembering that I will never see them again. I keep forgetting this.
There is always a silver lining and I found it in the form of a beautiful, spirited woman who I now call my friend. I found it yet again in another wonderful woman who carried my words for me when I could not. I am so grateful to have them in my life. There are always blessings if you can only find them.
2017 will see me rebuilding the team with new faces, new friends and it makes me happy to be moving ever forward. I am so looking forward to all the challenges, exchanges and adventures that we will face together. It will be a whole new rodeo and we are going to have some seriously great times together.
So it is Christmas. I fell on my face. I picked myself up. I am doing it all over again.
I will spend the holidays with my lover, my little nephews and my family. I will bask in the joy they bring me. My holiday wish for everyone reading is that they can find the same measure of peace and love in their hearts as I have in mine.
A most Joyous Season to All.