Monday, December 31, 2012


I've been wanting to write this blog post for the month of December and could never seem to find the right words.      It's difficult to find all the words that go along with heartbreak while at the same time finding words to be grateful.     So, let me try .....

It has to do with 2012.     It has been a difficult year, but at the same time, it's been a joyful year.     The word that keeps coming to mind is celebration and as hard as I have fought writing about celebration, it really is one that fits.

As you know, January of 2012 started off with the loss of my beautiful Mother.     No words can possibly desribe how much she is missed.    You only have one mother and I was blessed with a very good one; one that wasn't perfect, but one that was perfect to me.     When my sisters and I were planning her funeral service, I remember talking with the Pastor who did her service and he made sure to tell us that he wanted to make sure it was something that she would have loved.    It was a "celebration" of her, what she meant to us, to her grandchildren, her brothers and sisters, and her friends.     As I have grieved deeply this year, it recently came to me that the reason for the pain was because I missed "celebrating" her.     I missed having a cup of tea with her, missed our long conversations, missed her getting excited over Dancing With The Stars, and missed our Friday evenings together.    I also realized, however,  that she is having a cup of tea in heaven, she is having the very best conversations, she is always dancing, and she is continually celebrating while she has Jesus in her presence.        

February began another hurdle with John's Father being admitted into the hospital.    After several strokes and him getting weaker and weaker, it was becoming more evident that staying at home with his wife caring for him was becoming dangerous for both of them.     A few months later, he was admitted into a long term care facility.    For the last seven years, we have had the blessing of watching John's mother care for her husband with every ounce of love that she had.     When he was admitted into long term care, she would still visit each night.     She walked in and his face lit up.     After the nurses would put him into his wheelchair, she would walk him down to the dining room, feed him, clean him up, spend several hours with him, and make sure he was comfortable in bed before she left.     She had celebrated fifty seven years of marriage with him and was still celebrating their life together no matter what the circumstances were.   

Our next celebration occured when Andrew and Christina were married on June 30th in Islesford, Maine.     Family and friends gathered and witnessed one of the most beautiful island weddings I have ever seen.     I know that I am biased, but really it was.     They wrote their own vows to which their wasn't a dry eye in the room.     They poured their hearts into the day and it was pure evidence of a love that was deep and respectful of one another.   The food was amazing, John and I had some time to ourselves, and our son was happy.     It was a reason to celebrate.   

Another celebration occured in August when my nephew returned home from Afghanistan unharmed and safe and sound.     He returned home to his wife and met his two month old son for the first time.    I still thank God.   

And the celebrations continued with an engagement, a birth of another grandchild, and the beginning of a new and special relationship with our oldest son, Michael.     He met a young woman, Courtney, who has a special little baby girl, Rosslyn.      They met when Rosslyn was just six months old.     Both of them have become very important to not only Michael's life, but to ours as well.      I can't tell you how many times I wished my mother could have met both of them.     She would have loved them too.    Just as I start to feel sorry for myself, something inside of me always brings to back to reality.     God knew what he was doing when he sent these girls into our lives.     Just when I feel like I can barely celebrate another minute, I'll see them.     Rosslyn has a smile that truly lights up a room.     She just started walking and reaching up to you.    She also just started blowing kisses.     How can I not possibly celebrate her precious life?  

November hit us hard with another hospitalization of John's father, Amy and Cody's wedding, and the loss of John's father all within a two week period.     Amy and Cody's wedding was on a Saturday and earlier that week, John's father was not able to swallow.     We knew the day was getting close to say good-bye, but on the day of her wedding, he ate breakfast.      To me, he was telling us to enjoy the day and making sure Amy and Cody had a beautiful day.    So they did and so did we.    

Three days later, he passed away.     John's family put together a beautiful collection of pictures, his siblings (he had seven out of ten that were still alive)  came from Canada, and we celebrated his life as he was laid to rest.    A sign that his daughter, Claire made read, "It's difficult to forget one who gave us so much to remember."      He was an amazing man - He loved God, he loved his wife, he loved his family, and we loved him back.   He gave us all a reason to celebrate and always will.  

There is a reason that it took me awhile to put all of this into the right words.     As 2012 rapidly comes to a close and we look towards 2013, I pray you will take the time to celebrate.     Celebrate life, celebrate one another, and celebrate every moment you have here on earth.      With 2012 just about behind our family, we still celebrate the joys and heartbreak that the year brought us.    For without the heartache, we would never know joy and all the reasons we have to celebrate.   

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