UNITED STATES—Christmas is expected to be a joyous and happy occasion, but I think 2016 might go down as one of the worst Christmas experiences I can recall having my entire life. Never in a million years had I expected some of the chaos and madness that unfolded to occur on what is expected to be the happiest day for so many people.

Things were off to a great start as the weekend was inching up to Christmas. All my Christmas shopping was finally finished, gifts were wrapped, it was all about spending time with family and friends to celebrate all the things that I’m thankful for. However, Christmas Eve would prove to be a daunting day to test my faith. First, I find out late that day that my mother had been robbed at gunpoint. That totally devastated me. Not simply because of the thought that someone was on the verge of taking my mother’s life, but the psychological trauma that comes with being robbed, especially at gunpoint.

It’s difficult to explain things so that one truly understands the point I’m hoping to get across: a near death experience changes you; it haunts you in ways that are not easy to explain. And when it comes to armed robbery, it’s more frightening with the prospect of realizing that someone has attempted to take your life. It totally ruined Christmas for me seeing my mother on edge and having to recount what transpired to her and not being able to get the image of that gun from being pointed at her face.

I know the feeling all too well because I was robbed at gunpoint, and it was the scariest thing to ever transpire in my life. It’s not something one easily forgets; with time and therapy one can make strides in life, but at the same time that experience is an emotional scar that rarely dissipates from one’s life. The one silver lining is that the authorities caught the little punks who decided to commit such a heinous crime, and I cannot wait to come face-to-face with them in court. It’s frustrating as hell that we have a legal system that likes to give slaps on the hand to people who commit psychological trauma, but if I have anything to say these culprits should be more scared of me than the courts.

In the process of dealing with one tragedy, another arose when my younger sister was involved in a serious car crash. Thank God she is okay, but my frustration comes with her desire to not want to worry anyone of the situation because of the impending holiday. I can give a crap about Christmas itself if I’m not able to spend it with the people that I love. What frustrates me the most was the accident was a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.

This time, a group of punks (likely those behind the wheel without a license) disrespected the rules of the road and cut off motorists not realizing that they put lives at risk for a joy ride. It just raises the question yet again, where are the cops when you need them. People continue to fail to realize that driving a car is a privilege it’s not a given. Rather justice is served in this case is up for debate, but I do believe in a little thing called karma. Why? What goes around comes around and while I wish no harm on anyone, you can’t commit crimes and do horrid things and expect nothing to come back at you 10 fold.

My sister might be a bit sore, but as I stated the one thing that matters to me is that she is still alive, because things could have been far worse. So I am thankful to God once again for protecting my family from harm. I will admit I won’t easily forget Christmas 2016. And it’s not because of the bad that transpired, but the thought that the people that matter to me in life could have been taken from me with the snap of a finger. Count your blessings people, count your blessings.