Maybe this is not a Christmas-y topic...but actually, maybe it is. This is about family, which to me is very much what Christmas is all about. For me this time of year has always been about spending time with family. With the coming new year, it is also a time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the new one. A time to reflect on what is good and what is bad and what needs to change. I have always felt it to be a time of promise and opportunity. A time to think about how fortunate I am and all the goodness and good people in my life. It is a happy time. But this year it is also a little unsettling because it has been a rough year for some of my family and friends.
Today I am attending a funeral. A friend's mother passed away a few days ago. She suffered from a very debilitating disease, but still - death is never really welcome or easy. No one wants to see their loved ones pass on, even if they are suffering. And this friend has also suffered through other very recent tragedies. I ache for her.
Another dear friend's mother is in the hospital, having recently had major surgery which thankfully was successful, but now she needs another operation. I am sending prayers and good energy that all will be good here.
A dear friend, a mother, has struggled with loss and terrible illness this year. I am so happy that she is on the road to recovery.
An old friend, a father, has struggled, and still does, with a long illness of his son. They keep fighting.
We are still reeling from the unexpected death of Paul's mother a few months ago. I did not know her for very long, or very well, which saddens me. But I am so grateful that I did know her and that I was allowed the time I did have with her. It seems strange to say this as I did not know her for that long, but I miss her a lot. I miss the person that I know she was.
My parents are visiting us for the holidays and it is wonderful. I feel very fortunate that my parents can spend time with us and that they are healthy right now. But 'right now' is the key. I worry.
I do not like this. I have hit 'that' age. The age where suddenly you realize that you and your friends' parents have somehow suddenly aged. And more and more are suffering from health problems and in some cases dying. It is a painful, but important reminder to act now, live now, appreciate and enjoy your parents, your family, the people in your life, and the time that you have with them. I am so happy that all of the friends and family noted above were or are wise enough to spend a lot of time with their parents and families. There may be sadness and loss there, but man oh man there has also been so, so much love. So, as I reflect on this year and prepare for next, I am very, very grateful for my life, my love, my family, my friends, and I am sending a whole lot of love, good energy and prayers out there for all of you, especially those of you who have had a rough year.
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