by David Williams, HNN Freelance Correspondent
COLUMN: 2017 Loss Has Aged Me

As the final days of 2017 slip away, I've been reflecting on how I remember this year. Honestly, it has not been a bad year for me, but, one event has forever tarnished this year for me and I'll always resent 2017....and really what ruined this past year for me is kind of what has cast a shadow of my journey into middle age and farther.

2017 took my buddy The Pig. I got the call at 3am on a hot summers night. It was a heart attack. He did not do drugs. He was 46. He left a great family and so much unfinished business. He was the Pig in our new company GatorPig Entertainment, but more than that he was the creative force that inspired me and a twisted voice of reason and logic that kept me from being a loose cannon.

I've come to a conclusion that age hasn't made me old. At 54, I still feel good physically. I can still do a lot of things I didn't think I'd be able to do when I got older. What has aged me over the years and made years like 2017 stand out as bad years is loss. Loss has made me older.

Every year seems to take a main influence out of my life. The first part of my life was about new things, new people, new experiences, and new opportunities. The last several years have been about loss....the loss of influences, the loss of love, the loss of opportunities, and the loss of influence. Loss has made me old.

Pig and I had hope. Hope we could create special things like his rock opera Finger Bang. The hope we could change things politically. The hope we could change things socially. We had Piglitical, The Bloody Beacon and many other projects. When I flirted with the idea of running for Mayor in 2016, he was going to be one of my campaign members and the brains of my campaign.

I realize there is still Hope and that more than ever the world needs Hope. But I struggle without the man thought taught me to hope and taught me that I could make a difference. I believe in the things Pig taught me. I still believe in Hope and Change. I still struggle in believing in the one thing he tried to teach me to believe in... myself. Pig believed in me. I forget that sometimes but when I remember that I believe in Hope again.

Some good things happened to me in 2017 but it will always be the year that I lost my friend, in many ways my mentor, my creative inspiration, and a man that really believed in me.

2017 despite the good suck.

Me and the Pig....and me, The Pig, and John two campaign managers in my short lived Mayor Gator 2016 campaign