As the founder of Worldpress.org, an international news website, I had some experience with putting myself out there, but not in the same soul-baring way I was now preparing to do.
The Teri Tome was my way of opening a small window into my soul; my life, my experiences. In cracking open that window, I hoped that one miraculous day I would finally find healing in my own words.
For me, 2016 started out promising but ended with the tragic hit-and-run death of my Aunt Barb.
In between the promise of a new year and the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, yes, 2016 was full of hopefulness, loving family, and the ecstatic news of a coming birth. And then there was that God awful Presidential election. And sure, the sun peeked out amidst the clouds from time to time.
But 2016 has come and gone, and I am still missing that unnamed someone nearest and dearest to me; my lost and most valuable family treasure. I thought for sure that 2016 was the year we would reconcile. And I never mustered up the courage to send any of those 2016 letters I wrote to my estranged mom.
Lost family…lost opportunities…another lost year.
In 2016, I tried my hand at poetry, recipes, drawing and blog fiction.
LET ME REPEAT: BLOG FICTION, which means conjured up. I reiterate the obvious definition because there seems to be some confusion out there from a handful of haters.
I have happily accepted all the bricks some have thrown at me for my posts written from truth.
I get it. The truth hurts.
But the fiction? Give me a break.
And yes, I would agree that there is often an element of truth in fiction.
But my imagination is sometimes all I have left when life’s truth overwhelms me.
And sure, I threw some politics and other fun antics into the mix.
But to be truthful, the soul-searching dark stuff is always lurking in the back of my mind. Those damn niggling memories keep me up night after sleepless night.
That heartbreaking stuff that I inevitably wake up in a sweat remembering, and have to turn on the lights—no matter what time it is, to write them down.
It’s not like I would forget them if I wrote them down the next day, but I guess putting them to paper at that moment is like writing them away so I can try to get an hour or so of uninterrupted sleep.
So as I happily bid a Bye Felicia to 2016, I took a look back at some of my best-read blogs from the past year and selected the following Top Ten Teri Tome picks based on how many times each post was viewed and shared. The truth, the fiction, and the downright forgettable.
And a heartfelt shout-out and thanks to all of my dedicated readers, who helped me bring life to my writing, my experiences, my feelings, and my very soul.
And to all the haters? Take your sticks and stones and get lost.
Haters are always gonna hate. Nothing anyone can do about that. As someone who was bullied as a child and well into her teens, I know first-hand how painful rejection can be.
But ever the optimist and forever my own strongest ally, I pushed through whatever life, and the haters threw at me.
David Brinkley once said, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
Your words of encouragement went a long way in giving me the courage to write on, even when the haters threw their bricks.
I took all those bricks and created a mighty Teri fortress.
The Teri Tome is sometimes sarcastic, oftentimes ironic, and once in a while downright depressing.
But make no mistake about it: The Teri Tome is my truth, my perspective, my memories. And I will live and die by my Teri Tome collection.
So to all those haters out there who so desperately tried to compromise my liberties, my safety, my relationships, and indeed my very soul.
You might have succeeded in taking what you wanted and or what you needed. And you may have shut me out of your lives, and you may even have succeeded in shutting down the very essence of who I once was. But you will never be able to shut my mouth.
Now that I got that off my chest.
Back to The Teri Tome Top Blog Posts of 2016.
By the end of 2016, I had written 42 posts. Out of the 42 posts, 24% of them represented the Top Ten Posts, and have garnered anywhere from 12,710 hits for #1, to 3,602 for #10.
Now I’m not sure if these are impressive numbers or not, but they’re good enough for me.
Anyway, here are the links to my Top Ten Teri Tome Blog Posts for 2016.
Drum roll, please… But before the drum roll, I want to say a HUUUGE thank you to all my readers for sharing your precious time with me. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and blessed 2017.
DEFINITION OF MARKETING: When I was asked to write an article clarifying the difference between marketing, advertising, public relations, branding, telemarketing, and strategic planning, I had a difficult time cogently explaining the distinction between all of them. The only way I could think of doing it was to use my single daughter as the end product. (Note to daughter: Please don’t kill me.)
FISH AND DISHING—GIRLS’ NIGHT IN: I was blown away that this post was so popular. The older I get, the more I enjoy hanging out in my house. But the best part is doing it with my girlfriends.
WORLD DAUGHTER’S DAY: This one was another surprise. But since the passing of Carrie Fisher, and then the following day the death of her mother Debbie Reynolds, I have read article after article about the can’t-live-with-them-can’t-live-without-them relationships that so many mothers have with their daughters. But that’s not the case for me. To be clear, I love my daughter more than life itself.
DRINKING ALCOHOL. HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?: The popularity of this post did not surprise me at all. And since it was written on December 20th, it has garnered tons of hits and shares. I guess I hit a nerve. And speaking of nerve, it took a lot of it for me to talk about what plenty of people are thinking.
MOTHER’S DAY AND RALEIGH: MY BROTHER DISGUISED AS A DOG: To be sure, every dog has his or her day. But my dog Raleigh’s sole purpose on this earth was to protect and love me each and every day of his life. The first and only animal I ever owned saved me in more ways than I could ever express in this blog post.
WE ARE ALL FLINT MICHIGAN: My water sucks. And I can’t help but wonder how many others are drinking tainted water and have no clue. Now I’m not a fan of Trump, but I’d like him a whole lot more if he would delve into why our nation’s drinking water is so bad—BIGLY.
JEMIMA KHAN’S CONTROVERSIAL MELANIA TRUMP COSTUME AT STAR-STUDDED UNICEF HALLOWEEN BALL: The popularity of this post kind of hurt my feelings. As the self-proclaimed Queen of verbiage, I wrote less than 100 words for this post. And it got thousands of page views. Huh? I guess a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, or in this case, a thousand hits.
THE TERI TOME—MY TOP 20 POSTS IN 2015: I was thrilled this one made the top 10 because I get to press instant replay on some oldie but goodie posts.
REST IN PEACE, AUNT BARB: On November 27, as my Aunt Barb walked across a Minneapolis street with my Uncle Lou, she was hit by a speeding car which fled the scene after the horrific accident. She passed away the following morning, November 28, on their 52nd wedding anniversary. Boy, do I miss her.
LET THEM EAT CHEESE—FOR DESSERT: How this post crept into the top 10, I have no clue. I guess a lot of people like cheese. With a side of panforte, crispy raisin pecan bread, and some dried fruit mostarda. Go figure.
And because I am obsessed with the number 18 (see why here), I had to know what blog post graced my favorite number.
FARRAH’S BLANKET: Okay, so #18 ( which is the Hebrew word for life) gave me the chills. This short story was written about my late mother-in-law, who survived the Holocaust. She was and still is a daily reminder of her goodness despite the trauma she endured. Sadly, one thing that we’ve learned is that we seldom learn from history.
Happy New Year and l’chaim.