Posted by: shannynmoore | December 29, 2013

2013 brought heartache and joy at warp speed

Shannyn Moore for the Anchorage Daily News

I’m not sure why 2013 seemed to fly by. I’ve always heard “the older you get …,” but this year seemed to go faster than some months in 2012.

Some years it’s better to close the chapter and start writing the next but indulge me for a minute of retrospection.

One year, while I was home from university, mother asked my sisters and me what we had resolved for the New Year. I said my resolution was to say whatever I thought, to not keep my opinions to myself. Mom shuddered. My sisters laughed. I was just aiming for something attainable.

No year is perfect. We always face new challenges and try to overcome them. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t. I had a lot of hope going into this year, and no idea it would be as hard as it was. I have to catch my breath when I think of all the people who showed up to lend me a hand.

I wanted my heart to mend, and in part it has. I wanted my incredibly strong mother to have a little easier struggle with her cancer. When Pop had complications from his cancer surgery, I wanted him to live to love our family. He remains our anchor.

I wanted my sisters to have the babies they so desired — and they did. When my nephew was born prematurely, I wanted him to survive and thrive. Thanks to the angels in the NICU, he has. When my baby sister had her little girl, I wanted all good health and love. Both my sister and my niece are beautiful.

I wanted my daughter’s last year of high school to be full of success, love and support, and it has been.

I wanted the Pebble mine project to fail in order to protect our salmon. That hasn’t happened yet but we’re making progress.

I said eight words I never thought I’d say: “I have a giant crush on the pope.”

There is glacial progress toward peace in the world. Our government’s abuses of our rights have been exposed to the sunlight and demands for change are growing.

Utah now allows gay marriage — or what I like to call “marriage.” Can socially backward Alaska be far behind?

I’ve rather liked this year, and the upcoming year shows signs of promise. Affordable health care will become a reality for millions of Americans. There are plenty of problems still to be solved but at least we’re trying.

Perhaps America will finally grow bored with the manufactured outrage over silliness like the biblical scholarship of “Duck Dynasty” and the faux “War on Christmas.” Maybe instead we will remember that our fellow citizens are still dying in Afghanistan; we lost six there in a helicopter crash on Dec. 17.

Maybe a message of devotion to peace and brotherly love from the “Marxist” Pope Francis will resonate in more hearts than the hatred and bigotry of the Rev. Hagees and Prevos of the world.

In Alaska, we have a chance to overturn legislation that strips workers of their rights. We will have the opportunity in 2014 to reclaim the birthright of all Alaskans to receive a fair price for our oil resources. And we’ll have the option to vote for lawmakers who aren’t hell bent on colonizing our state for foreign-owned corporations.

We can resolve to actually protect the most vulnerable among us rather than just mouthing hollow slogans. We don’t have to be the third most violent state, thanks to our outrageous rape statistics. If we want to change that, we can start that process in a voting booth.

Here’s the thing. I can’t list all the moments or people who have meant so much to me in the last year. It’s impossible in this small space. So let me just wish love for the lonely, peace to the troubled, and care for those who suffer neglect, sorrow or poverty.

This year’s resolution? To tell you exactly what I think, to fight for a better Alaska for all Alaskans, and to never miss an opportunity to say thank you.

Shannyn Moore is a radio host on 1480 AM in Washington, D.C., and on Netroots Radio.


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