Sixteen was the number I wore on the back of my t-shirt when I played soccer in Italy with friends in the summer of 1994.

Sixteen is the number cigarette I would flip over after getting a new pack.

Sixteen is four squared, four being one of my favorite numbers (two squared).

Sixteen is the age I was when Mike V. and I decided it “was time” after dating for a year.

Sixteen is how old I was when my older sister graduated from high school and moved to Boston.

Sixteen was the birthday where my friends threw me a surprise party and we broke into the public pool to go skinny dipping.

But ’16 is a year filled with anger, heartache, and death.

’16 took my father and left me having to put my career on hold to clean up the messes he left.

’16 had me filing a police report on a con artist who took advantage of a lonely, old drunk because he wouldn’t listen to his daughter.

’16 took brilliant performers from this world, people who enriched our lives through music, art, entertainment; people who gave us the ability to lose ourselves for a four minute song or a few hours of a movie.

’16 made my ability to work in London obsolete when the UK decided to leave the EU (I’m an Irish citizen).

But ’16 also gave me hope when Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination. I had hope when I pulled those maroon curtains aside and hit the button for her. I had hope when I went to bed last night, but I woke up in a nightmare.

’16 gave us a dream and then took that dream away. But the hope…Hope still remains.

The anchor is the ancient symbol of hope. It’s also the symbol of my sorority, Delta Gamma.

I will forever have hope. No matter what I say, tweet, text, email, there will always be a sliver of hope within me. It may be under rubble and gasping for air, but it will slither its way out of the most confined spaces and find its way to the surface of my heart.

So despite my confusion, fear, anger, rage, even, at the election results, I have hope.

Keep hope alive…always.

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