I never thought I would be so happy to see this year come to a close. 2020 has been such a wild and rough year for a lot of us. It just felt like yesterday I wrote “A Year in Review of Twenty Nineteen” summarizing the 2010’s decade looking forward to the start of the new decade has in store. The first two months of the year started out great. In January, I was making plans to travel more this year as I recently had got my passport. I was suppose to travel to Italy and had plan to visit a few Caribbean retreats including Jamaica and Barbados. Unfortunately, that never happened.
February was a great month for fashion. I physically attended New York Fashion Week and had the best time of my life. I’ve made so many connections in the fashion industry and met several photographers that have worked with people like Solange, Keke Palmer and so many others. Not only have I’ve made new connections, but I’ve also established a few new friendships at New York Fashion Week and as of today we continue to keep in touch with each other.
Sometime around mid March everything went downhill from there. It all started with my company transitioning us from the office to working remotely. My office is located in Center City of Philadelphia, which is downtown Philly. I remember leaving the office on the very last day and as I was heading home, not a single soul outside. It was like downtown was so deserted, which was pretty scary. I’ve never seen downtown Philly like that before. Usually it’s always active and upbeat with all walks of life around. Philly had issued a mandatory stay at home order due to the severe growth of the coronavirus pandemic at the time.
April was such a challenging month. The week before Easter, my father passed away at the young age of 56 from prostate cancer. I’ve learned that he had been sick for quite sometime. I’ve never expressed this to anyone publicly until writing it out in this reflection. I was dealing with it privately with family and close friends. My father and I was never really as close as I would have liked us to be because honestly we both had our issues to work on. However I know one thing, we always had much love for each other. I will always love him unconditionally because he was my father.
Heading into the warm months of May through August was a complete blur to be quite honest. I was still working from home, while still in my feelings about the death of my father. On top of that, the world was still on lockdown due to the pandemic. This past summer, the only fun thing I did was heading to the beach a few times to take my mind off of everything for a bit. It was very therapeutic walking across the sand viewing the ocean.
It was September and the coronavirus numbers were still rising and nothing had seemed to be getting any better. Despite the situation in the world, I was always trying to make the best of the situation by having faith and staying positive. October started feeling dark. I’ve learned my grandmother was very sick and was being cared for by my two aunts (her daughters) in her home. At the time, I believe they were unsure of her condition as she was in and out of the hospital.
Back in July, my grandmother got a colonoscopy because she had expressed to me that she had been experiencing some pain in her stomach. Honestly, it seemed like ever since she went in to have that procedure done, her health appeared to fail dramatically. Close to the end of October, she was placed in hospice care and I went to see her. I never forget that day as it was one of the darkest days of my life. She was looking so peaceful and beautiful. I whispered to her that I will always love her. A week later she passed away from kidney failure complications.
My grandmother and I were extremely close! She was like a second mother to me. If you had known her, you would have fell in love with her instantly She was the sweetest person in the world! Looking at myself in the mirror is like looking at a reflection of her because I’ve been often told that we look so much alike. She had been there with me through all my important life journeys including my college graduation from Temple U. a few years back. I would call her up telling her funny stories of what was happening in the world and she would be very much into it. Also she loved the heck out of the Kardashians, which I couldn’t figure out the life of me why? (Laughing so hard) Her favorites were Kendall and Kim. I miss her dearly, especially the little things like our phone conversations, her southern accent (She was born in the south) and most of all her homemade signature lemon cake from scratch.
The hardest thing was attending her final services a week before Thanksgiving. That day I felt like someone punched me in the stomach and ripped my heart out of my chest. I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. Thank goodness I had so much support from my family during that time because I don’t know how I’ve would have gotten though. My grandmother was 87 years old and looked so beautiful like an angel dressed in white. She will always be with me in my heart and will be my forever guardian angel.
The holidays didn’t feel the same as the world continued to still be in the pandemic. I still was in my feelings about everything that had occurred throughout the year. The only two positive things that came out of 2020 for me was being able to still continue to work and maintain everything without any disruptions. Also I’m incredibly thankful for my health and being able to survive the most deadliest epidemic that’s going down in history.
2020 gave me a new outlook on life. To never take anyone or anything for granted and to always be thankful no matter what. I will surely take what I’ve learned this year into 2021. The only thing I look forward to in 2021 is to have a better year where we could be together again not having to social distance from each other and to attend fun events again such as Fashion Week.
I want to send a personal thank you to my followers for riding me with from the very beginning. You’re so awesome and I love you guys so much! As always, you can drop me a comment anytime (I love reading them!) I hope that you all have a wonderful and safe Happy New Year! I will see you in 2021….cheers!
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Photography by Shakia
This post is dedicated to my father Leroy and my grandmother Lillian.
Shakia is the Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director of Kiki Style Diary website.