Another year has passed and once more I look back at all the wonderful people I met through my column. And not only the ones I wrote about. Many are just names that popped up in my inbox giving me column suggestions. It was Anne Hanada from St. Vincent de Paul who sent me information about Janiah Maddox, the little quadruple amputee about whom I wrote in November. Although we have never met in person, Anne and I stay in touch as what she termed "cyber sisters." Much more personal than Facebook.
In the meantime, Janiah moves forward in her life, now using a wheelchair and prosthetic leg to zip around at Simpson Elementary.
"Janiah continues to amaze us. She is eager to learn and continues to show us her independence everyday," said Susan Cmiel, her teacher.
Janiah's mother, Nicole, is taking great steps forward in her life as well. After caring for Janiah full time for the past four years, last Monday she started a new job as a public relations representative for Vesta. If it was a "shift" that the Mayans had predicted for this year, it was certainly a positive one for Janiah and Nicole.
And as the Mayan calendar ended and the Gregorian year passed, we still have another calendar year to look forward to. The Chinese Year of the Snake will begin on Feb. 10. I can't help but think of Carol Leonard, the lady who creates outrageous Halloween costumes. Leonard is half Japanese and half Chinese and her Zodiac sign is the snake. I can't wait to see what she comes up with to celebrate her big year.
And as for this "shift" thing, gong master Yogiray Kessler, subject of a September column, was hit with a really big one. He was on the program to perform at the big shift event in Atlanta on Dec. 22, but his day job as an insurance adjuster took him to New Jersey to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Despite the disappointment, he adjusted well. (Take it as a pun if you like.)
"The only thing that has permanently ended is the Mayan calendar," he said of his experience there. "No three days of darkness visited the planet. However, some victims of Sandy endured a lot of wind-driven rain, floods and two weeks or more of darkness. As I continue to play my role working with the people of New Jersey recovering from the aftermath of sudden upheaval, I am reminded that inner peace lives inside an awareness of the 'big picture' and 'an attitude of gratitude' for every learning this journey brings. The people I have encountered here have a resilient spirit and rally around the slogan 'Jersey Strong.' They are an inspiration."
And with that I move forward in my life, no matter what calendar I'm following.
Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.