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  • Sujuane Smith

My Year in Review

January

As with any new year I started the first month super optimistic. I started an Accounting Business with my business partner by the name of Diaz, Smith & Associates. The pandemic was seemingly getting under control, which inspired me to start planning some travel for the year. 2021 was going to be different! Until…..

February

My maternal grandparents both caught COVID and my Granddad was severely struggling because of it. Then on the second of February God called him home. Once again my heart was shattered and I didn’t understand how the God I had spent so much time trying to cultivate a relationship with, could do this to me 5 months after losing my Grandma. Then a week after my grandfather passed, my business partner lost her mom (also to COVID). I was lost yet again.

March

I started to develop my relationship with my cousin Sean. We met at my Granddad’s wake and shortly after he came to Houston to visit and came once a month ever since. My Grandma’s headstone was placed and seeing it brought the grief back to the forefront. But my Hubby’s birthday was a few days after and we actually got to celebrate this year since 2020 robbed him of his Big 40 celebration.

April

April was business as usual. Nothing extraordinary happened and I was perfectly ok with it. The skeptical side of me was waiting for the other shoe to drop. “This must be the calm before another storm” I said to myself. So I pressed on secretly bracing for the impact of another painful blow.

May

That travel I was planning in January hadn’t yet come to fruition but I was able to go to the Lake House I love. There’s something about being in nature that’s so calming for me. I got to go twice in May, once for my Godson’s birthday and once for my Dad’s birthday. Maybe just maybe both shoes have dropped and there’s nothing brewing behind the scenes to come and get me. Okay.

June

My husband and I decided to take a step forward in our fertility journey. We enlisted the help of a fertility clinic and started special treatments to increase our chances of conceiving. Unfortunately, by the end of June we still weren’t pregnant and my hopes of being a mom were quickly fading. “Sometimes God’s answer is No”, I said to my husband. We were both emotionally exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster infertility puts you on. I just need a change, my life is spinning out of control emotionally yet again.

July

My birth month! Well that’s how I should have felt. This would be the first birthday without my Grandma. No card or phone call from her, and I felt every ounce of her absence. We booked a trip to NYC (my favorite place on earth) for my birthday with hopes that it would lift my spirits.

Remember my cousin Sean that I connected with at my Granddad’s wake? Well he and I decided to start a familial based podcast called ChicKIN and Rice and our very first episode launched July 22nd. But about that change I needed…

When July hit I had this huge urge to pursue fashion again. So I found a Fashion school in NYC and applied. Then I booked an Air BnB for the 3 months that the program required, before I was even accepted into the school. Luckily I got in lol. So when we went to NYC for my birthday we also visited the school and lodging that I committed to on a whim. Everything checked out and I would soon be back in NY for Fashion School.

August

Still on my high from being in New York and with exciting plans to look forward to, I moved on into August. I started traveling more. I went to New Orleans and then Chicago, which had been on my bucket list for years.

Then…

Those fertility treatments seemingly had thrown my hormones completely out of whack. My body once again felt as though it was betraying me and I was sinking back into the pits of depression. But God. I had a HUGE urge to get baptized. I was never baptized as a child and it had always been something in the back of my mind that I felt was missing. So on August 29th I re-dedicated my life to the Lord.

September

Oh September….

I was dreading this month. Why? Because the one year anniversary of my Grandma’s death was coming. September 5th is forever etched in my brain and heart. I moved passed that date like a bull in a China shop and focused on my big temporary move to Brooklyn.

But first surgery….

Like I said before the fertility treatments had wreaked havoc on my hormones so I needed to ensure, for my own sanity, that everything was ok. So my Gynecologist and I decided to move forward with a laparoscopic surgery to check things out. Part of me was hoping she’d find something (like endometriosis) so at least I’d have a definitive reason for why infertility has knocked at my front door. But, as usual, everything was “normal”. Four days after my surgery I boarded a plane to NYC to start my journey into becoming a Fashion Designer. I got all settled into my spot and then……

DUKE!

Duke is my fur baby, my dukie-butt, my pumpkin, my woogie, my CHILD!

During the wee hours of Monday, September 20th I had a terrible dream. It was so bad it woke me up and I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I grabbed my phone to entertain me until I was sleepy again. I got a text from the Boarding Facility saying Duke’s stomach had flipped. I freaked out and woke my husband up (he was set to fly back that morning). For those who might not know, a dog’s stomach flipping is usually the kiss of death. So I was beside myself with worry. But THANK GOD the facility caught it in time and rushed Duke to an emergency vet! They couldn’t get ahold of me so the staff had to make the decision to save my baby’s life. One lady put $5,000 on her personal credit card because the vet needed a deposit to operate. I am eternally grateful to Rover Oaks in Houston for saving his life.

All this happened on my first day of school mind you, so my focus was definitely not there.

Spoiler Alert….Duke has made a FULL recovery and is back to being mama’s baby.

October

I started getting into the groove of school after a trip home to lay eyes on Duke. Once I saw that he was recovering ok, it was back to business. I started visiting the Brooklyn museum on a regular for fashion inspiration. I was learning tons and super excited about my future in fashion.

Then, here we go again….

My Uncle Jr. (my mom’s brother) was having a rough time with his cancer. My mom informed me that he was basically declining in health and it sounded like he was giving up. I remember hearing him say that “God told [him] he was going to heal [him] from the cancer”. So I was impatiently waiting for God to do just that. I continued to focus on school and put my energy into excelling in each of my classes, but November is coming.

November

November this year was like September. My Grandma’s birthday was November 8th and I wouldn’t be able to visit her headstone. For some reason her second birthday after her passing was hitting me especially hard this year. I was so depressed and just wanted to give up and go home. Before her birthday came my co-host on my podcast decided it was time for her to move on and I was left holding the bag. To be clear, I have absolutely no hard feelings toward her whatsoever. Everybody deserves and has the right to make choices that they feel are best for them and their future. So I wish her nothing but success. But the timing for me is what magnified the blow. November was shaping up to be a duplicate of September.

Then….

November 15th I lost my Uncle Jr.

Ten days before Thanksgiving, I was and am still heartbroken. My family sat in the same church on November 20th that we sat in 9 months earlier to say goodbye to my Granddad (his father). We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

December

As the world prepares for the holidays, my family is still grieving a very fresh loss. My year has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Even with all the lows I’ve had some tremendous highs. I finished up my semester with 3 A’s and a B, my accounting business is booming, my bond with my husband is beyond anything I could ever imagine, and I’m still here. As we celebrate Christmas and prepare for another year remember to express gratitude for all God has brought you to and through this year. Thanks so much for reading and if it’s God’s will I’ll see y’all in 2022!


~Sujuane~

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