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Archive for December, 2008

Wow! What a roller coaster ride we had in 2008. While I learned a great deal about myself, my husband and my family and friends, I am certainly glad that this year is about to end. But, I also understand that just because the calendar indicates that it is a brand new year that does not mean that the slate is totally wiped clean and we have a brand new beginning. However, that also does not mean that we can’t set some new goals and make some decisions about some changes that we would like to make in our lives during 2009.

I am not one to look back over the last year and talk about what has happened or how things might have been different. I lived each day to the best of my ability and if anyone feels differently about that, I don’t really care. Of course I could have made different choices along the way but I didn’t. I could have handled a number of situations differently but I didn’t. Regardless of any choices I made along the way, I learned something new and it is up to me to remember those lessons so that I don’t have to repeat them again.

So now it is on to 2009 with all of the wide-eyed expectations and hopes and dreams for the changes that I would like to create in my life. I know what they are and I don’t have to publicize them here or share them with anyone else. I have been working on some new goals already and I am looking forward to the opportunities that some of those goals may bring about.

Next week in this blog, I am going to inaugurate the year with an announcement about a brand new program that I am supporting. I hope that all of you will take the time to read about it and if you are struck about this undertaking anywhere near as much as I have been, I will look forward to your getting on board and making a big difference for so many people.

In the interim, I would like to send out my greetings to you for a marvelous and fun New Year’s Eve celebration. I also want to send along to each and everyone my wishes for the realization of all of your hopes and dreams in the New Year and my thanks to you for your help and support this past year. It is appreciated more than you will ever know.

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Yes, I wrote “Merry Christmas”, not Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings or whatever else is suppose to be politically correct these days. I respect all holidays throughout the year and the remembrance that each represents and Christmas is no exception. The spirit of the season is just wonderful.

Of course I don’t expect everyone to embrace this spirit. There are many reasons that people choose not to do so and I truly feel sorry for them as they are missing out on something that is pretty special. I don’t care what your circumstances may be or what you have had on your plate during the past year. The spirit of caring and loving and giving that fills the air at this time of year is freely given to all who want to embrace it and it doesn’t cost a single penny.

I have had Christmases where I was unemployed and had no money for presents. I have had Christmases where I have dealt with personal and family illnesses. I have had Christmases that I could not spend with my family. But, regardless of the situation, I have always found a way to enjoy the holiday, spend it with others and embrace the spirit of the season.

What I have found over the years is that despite whatever else may be going on in my life, the Christmas spirit can override it all. It has never been about the gifts that one can or cannot give and/or receive but rather about the love that one is willing to share. Have you ever noticed the extra laughter in your work place or the efforts made to get together with co-workers and associates and friends? It is all about the spirit of the season.

And most importantly, I am sure that if you focus on all of the wonderful Christmas seasons that you have experienced, they far outweigh those that may have been not so good. Embrace the memories from your childhood and those of the children that have surrounded you over the years. Remember those feelings and you have the opportunity to experience them again year after year if you just choose to embrace the child within. My Christmas Wish for you this season is that you enjoy the peace and warmth and wonder and good will of the season this Christmas and hold on to those feelings for as long as you can for every day in the future.

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Here it is – a week plus until Christmas and I don’t have my shopping done. The decorations are done and the tree has been up for a couple of weeks. I have spent a lot of time online doing some shopping but the one person for whom I wanted to make Christmas extra special this year, I can’t find a single thing.

I have had money put away for awhile now. I have had several “brilliant” ideas but for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to execute any of them. Why is it that I always run into the same problem? Why is it that I can never come up with some very special gifts for the one person who is most important to me?

I have decided that the reason is because there is no super gift for a super person. I have thought about it day and night for weeks on end. I wake up during the night and when the alarm goes off in the morning and it is the first thing that comes into my mind. I certainly can’t say it is because he has everything in the world because he doesn’t. It is just that some new clothes or a bunch of little gadgets just won’t do the trick. So what am I going to do? Honestly, I have no idea.

I suppose I can take one evening after work and stroll through the mall to see if I can spot a few unique items as I have given up on shopping online. I have asked friends for suggestions but so far there has not been anything forthcoming there. I certainly don’t want this gift thing to ruin the holidays but by the same token I can’t imagine not having some special things for him. It is not because I am attached to things but I do like to find some special things that will create some new memories of this special holiday this year.

So I will keep on working at finding some special things and try not to stress out while doing so. I will count on the spirit of the season to inspire me and hope that I will be led to just the right things that will say that he is as unique and special as those gifts that I hope to find. I will count on those special feelings that always come out at this time of the year to help me find the magic of the season. After all, if the three kings could give special presents to the baby Jesus, I sure should be able to come up with some special presents for the most special person that He gave to me.

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I stopped by the office of one of my colleagues last week to see how she was doing. Monica is a wonderful person who is married, has 3 young children and she is also taking care of her parents who live in her home. Her father is a diabetic who is receiving dialysis several times a week and whose health has deteriorated to the point where he now needs around the clock care so she has been looking for a facility for him. She is doing all of this and working a full-time job as well.

As we chatted, I mentioned that I just don’t understand how she does it all. She responded that what she has had to deal with this year is nothing compared to what I had to handle with cancer and that I have served as an inspiration to her. Very frankly, I couldn’t understand how this could be so.

I thought about what she had said and tried to give it some perspective. I finally realized that the reason that I felt that what I had experienced was not that big of a deal was because of love and support that I had received and continue to receive from my husband, Kirk. Whenever I had anything with which to deal, he was there. When surgery was scheduled, all I had to do was show up and he took care of everything from there.

It is difficult to explain how the constant support of my husband made all the difference in the world. He has always been so supportive with everything that needed to be done around the house as we both work. But now he was doing everything that you can imagine and more. Not only did I not have to lift a finger to do anything but he also went above and beyond to help me have something else on which I could focus by doing special things like getting me a gift card for shopping online. He was also the inspiration for this blog and set it up for me and still handles the site and the postings each week. I can’t even begin to list everything that he has done for me. I was always physically and mentally as comfortable as anyone could possibly be under such circumstances and could not have wanted for anything more.

My husband was and continues to be my inspiration and there will never be any words or deeds or gifts or anything that I could do or give to him that would ever express my true gratitude. To have someone in my life who is so loving and caring and giving is everything to me. He is a shining example about how we should love and cherish one another and as a result of what he has shown me, I want to find a way in which I can help and support others in their personal struggles with cancer. If I can give to others at least a portion of what he has given to me, I know that I can make a real difference in those people’s lives. There is nothing more important to any of us than the support of others and knowing that someone cares.

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