A New Year’s Wish In Harlem

January 2, 2016

110th street in harlemBy Ginny Johnson

I was walking downhill on 110th street this past week heading to the subway, got distracted and fell flat on my face.  As I was laying on the sidewalk surrounded by people feel quite clumsy, the whole past year flashed in my head.

This past year I lost my husband to cancer.  It was a sudden, unexpected death.  He went into the hospital with leg pain, got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and 3 weeks later he was gone.  My children and I were left alone.  So, for the past year, I have struggled to figure out who I was and how I fit into this world alone.  I have wrestled with the highs and lows of grief, and have been surprised by the people who stepped forward to support me, and those who just turned their backs and walked away.  It has been a year of tragedy and grace.

But, as I was helped up from that sidewalk by strangers who had no idea of the troubles of my past year I was struck with a realization that has turned my thoughts in this new year to hope and joy.

I realized that in my quest to find myself, I was going about it the wrong way.  I was looking for the big changes instead of looking at the small miracles.

I realized that in my quest to find myself, I was going about it the wrong way.  I was looking for the big changes instead of looking at the small miracles.  For instance, when I fell I hurt my knee and smacked my forehead.  I could have easily broken a bone, or my nose or knocked out some teeth.  Instead I have a few bruises that will heal and a new outlook on life.

On the first day of this new year I vow to look for joy in the small things, and be grateful for the moments of the day.  I want to live each day to the fullest, because I now see how quickly things can change and leave you devastated.  I will not be afraid to try new things and go places I have never been.  I hope to find a new love to take this journey with me, but in the meantime, I will walk in the sun and smile, and try not to fall flat on my face…again.

So, this is my wish for all of you.  That you find joy in the small moments.  Take the time to smile at strangers, breathe the air and be happy you are alive.

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One Comment

  1. Ginny- It was a blessing reading your column. I also miss Keith. He was always optimistic, gentle, and full of integrity. I hope to see you again, and, if I do, I will smile.

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