The End of 2009

As many of you know, 2009 will be a year that is forever written in my memory. I lost both my father and my mother to cancer this year and that is something I can never forget. But 2009 will be written to memory for many other reasons as well…

I met some really good friends this year and for that I am thankful. If there is one thing I have learned over time, it is to trust your gut instinct. I always have a “feeling” about people when I meet them and I have tried very hard to overcome pre-judging people before I give them a chance. What I have learned though is that my initial impression was usually right. As with the survival of the fittest, the good friends are still around when the hard times come. I feel so lucky that the friends I have were here for me during the past year and even now to support me, share time with me, and most importantly, let me share time with them.

I reconnected with some really good “old” friends as well; only “old” in the sense of being from the past. I was fortunate enough to have a couple of opportunities to go to Montgomery and meet with some of my high school friends. And what I have learned from that is that it doesn’t matter what our relationships or “status” was in high school, we are all equal now and enjoy sharing old stories of good times we all had in high school. We all have families now and love hearing about each other and how our children are growing. I cherish the short but precious time we are able to share together. And I will miss those we have lost.

As you can well imagine, the events I dealt with in 2009 could be quite a strain on marriage. Luke did so many caring and wonderful things during the time of my mother’s illness. I found out in the latter part of her illness that he had been going up to check on her when I wasn’t around. He never complained about the constant parade of people coming and going. He did so much to care for the children when my time was spent looking after my mother. He brought her flowers. The list goes on and on. And not surprisingly, I had many outbursts of anger, sadness, irrationality, etc. He rolled with the punches. For him, I am thankful.

I am also thankful that I was able to be with my father the night before and the day of his surgery. And my mother for the last months of her life. So many people do not get that opportunity. Many of my friends have parents suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or terminal illness and endure the terrible suffering their parents go through each and every day…for years. In no way is this meant to sound heartless because it is anything but, but I am thankful my parents went quickly and that I had the opportunity to be with them before they died.

Lastly, I have learned that life is short. Any one of us could be gone in the blink of an eye. Love your parents if you still have them. Years pass quickly. My hope is that my actions let my friends and family know how much I appreciate them for who they are and that I value my relationship with each and every one of them.

Bring on 2010…I’m equipped and ready.