This post is by Janine Muniz.
When I began my reflection on this past year, I sat down and stared at my journal. What would fill the end of the year pages? How would 2021 be memorialized on those pages? I was looking for something that encapsulated 2021 for me. After some thought, one word came to mind: perseverance. Wherever I turned or whoever I met, there it was.
On the news, there were stories of those who overcame struggles with their health, financial issues, or even putting food on the table. Some of those stories were mirrored in my own life. I watched my cousin deal with her three children contracting COVID and stay strong for her oldest son as he dealt with some of the complications of COVID. Despite falling apart on the inside, she kept a brave face, giving her children the strength they needed to recover. And there was my Mom. Day in and day out she battled a terminal illness, striving to keep her quality of life intact. Each and every one of these situations are examples of perseverance.
And from that came a desire to help others. Being with Mom has made me more sensitive to the needs of the sick and the elderly. I tried to look for ways to help, but not strip them of their independence. After my cousin’s ordeal with COVID, she was vigilant in making sure others protected themselves by wearing masks and hand washing. All these shifts in mindset were inspired by the different types of hardships that were faced. They were the small silver linings in the dark clouds overhead.
Still, 2021 was not an easy year. Despite all the advances made, there are still many people that are not yet able to overcome their circumstances. There is still the need for outreach, support, and whatever else we can do to help our brothers and sisters. It could be a phone call to check up on family members, starting a drive to send cards and notes to nursing homes or volunteering at your local food bank. We must help them to persevere. There is still a long road ahead of us. Let’s work together to shorten it.
As I look towards 2022, I leave you with a word of prayer:
Lord, I humbly ask that you continue to watch over all of us as we enter into a new year.
I pray that as 2022 begins we continue to make strides towards a normalcy we deeply desire. Please help those suffering from COVID and other illnesses receive the care that they need. For the families of the ill, that they may have the emotional support they need along with help in taking care of tasks that become neglected. That all frontline workers are protected and blessed for the work that they do in healing, educating, protecting, and serving. That those facing difficulties and hardships can receive the help that they need to move forward and come to a place of provision and comfort. I pray for the health and safety of us all.
Janine Muniz is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University and is in the beginning stages of her first novel. She has written anecdotal stories and opinion pieces on different topics when she was a writer for SNHU Odyssey, a student-run writer’s platform, and featured on Sweatpants & Coffee. When she’s not setting her newest idea to paper, Janine is a planner enthusiast, loving all things kawaii. She lives in a full house with her three boys, two cats, and two dogs in Ronkonkoma, NY.
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