Looking back at 2012, looking forward to new year
Just one more day, and 2012 is no more.
This past year has been a wild ride with its fair share of ups and downs. The ground shifted beneath my feet time and time again in both good and bad ways.
Going into this year, I had three grandparents left. As we exit, I only have one. Until this year, death and I weren’t closely acquainted. It’s something I suppose I’d always taken for granted. When my grandmother died Jan. 23, I realized how foolish I’d been. I was devastated and, nearly a year later, her absence is still felt just as strongly as it was then.
Granny’s passing was quickly followed by a flat tire on Alcoa Highway at 1 in the morning and a missing wallet fiasco. For a couple of weeks there, I pondered what karmic justice the universe would dish out next for me.
This past year claimed the lives of some well-known folks we had welcomed into our homes for years. Larry Hagman and Andy Griffith were two losses that left a mark. Other notable deaths include Andy Williams, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Armstrong, Sherman Hemsley, Sally Ride, Kitty Wells, Dick Clark, Whitney Houston, Ernest Borgnine and Doc Watson.
But perhaps felt deepest were 26 deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., including 20 children. The nation was left reeling as the horror of what had happened sunk in. Parents hugged their children tighter, and I called my mother, a high school English teacher, that night just to say hello and tell her I loved her.
The year wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. I had the opportunity to be blown away by two stage productions of “Les Misérables.” The first was when the show came to Knoxville and then again a couple of months later in Atlanta. And yes, I saw the film this past week and loved it. Except for poor tone-deaf Russell Crowe. Bless his heart.
I also managed to catch some fantastic concerts. BFG and I checked out Death Cab for Cutie in May while BFF introduced me to my first Duran Duran concert in August. Just a couple of weeks before, she and I had gone to see Rick Springfield at a Knoxville fundraiser. Needless to say, 2012 was an awesome year for live shows, which have always been a favorite of mine.
It was a year of milestones on several levels as nations came together for the summer Olympics, Barack Obama was elected to a second term after a heavily contested race, the UT Vols hired its third coach in four years — and most importantly, I finally met actor Dean Cain, whom I had loved for nearly 20 years.
It was a year of self-discovery for me as I learned to cope with the new emotions Granny’s death had left me with and also the realization that I wasn’t in my 20s anymore.
I can’t say that I’m not a little glad to see 2012 exit. I handled all of its ups and downs and came out stronger than before. There is no telling what the new year will bring but ready or not, here it comes. Here’s hoping for a smoother ride this year.
Amanda Greever is assistant managing editor at The Daily Times. She writes a weekly column in the Sunday Life section. She can be reached at 981-1161 or (firstname.lastname@example.org) Follow her on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com _editor.