Archives

Memorial Day – Picnics and Parades?

After stopping to schedule my next appointment at the doctor’s office last week, the young lady handed me a card confirming my appointment and said in a cherry voice, “Have a happy Memorial Day.”

Happy Memorial Day! The words didn’t go together. Memorial Day isn’t a happy day to be celebrated. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and gratitude. Isn’t it?

I’m old enough to remember when Memorial Day was always on May 30th. Maybe that adds to our confusion about the true meaning of the day. Somewhere along the way, Memorial Day became a three-day weekend.

Today, the long Memorial Day weekend has become the unofficial start of summer. Picnics, backyard barbecues, the Indianapolis 500, mattress ads on TV, baseball games, and if the weather is warm enough, a dip in your neighbor’s pool. Some see it as just an extra day off work.

There’s nothing wrong with picnics or relaxing with friends. But, some seem to have forgotten we should take time to remember who paid the price for our relaxing day or that extra day off work.

As a young girl living in the country Memorial Day, or what my parents called Decoration Day, had a meaning that was a bit more special. Every year, families got all dressed in their Sunday best and headed for Mill Springs Cemetery in Nancy, Kentucky.

I don’t remember a parade, just speeches about war and patriotic songs being sung. Serious faces and snippets of conversations and tears about losing loved ones, a brother, or a father in the war. It was never referred to as World War I or WWII, just “the war.”

Daddy told me the site of Mill Springs National Cemetery was originally a Civil War battlefield. Today the cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. One of the first National Cemeteries created, it still receives burials today. It is one of the oldest National Cemeteries still in operation.

Many smaller towns and communities still have parades with the high school band marching and playing patriotic songs. A color guard usually carries an American flag and flags representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Along the parade route, excited little kids wave small flags and grab the wrapped candy tossed from the elected officals’ cars to those who watch from the sidelines.

In the early 1960s, as a majorette, I marched with the Norwood High School band in an annual Memorial Day parade, down Montgomery Road ending at Victory Park for speeches about the importance of remembering those who had died to protect our freedom.

There were always representatives from the local community, usually a few older men dressed in partial uniforms of the various U.S. military forces; veterans in a shirt, or a jacket covered with military emblems and maybe a few medals. Whatever they had left or maybe what still fit.

All veterans of different wars, they marched proudly. Their faces somber as they stood as straight as their bodies would allow, saluting the bronze plaques in Victory Park of the veterans who died in wars before Vietnam.

Today, I witnessed another small town parade in the community where we now live. Not much different from the parades of my teenage years. A color guard opened the parade, elected officials still threw wrapped candy, and little kids still waved flags. There was not one, but two bands. However, there was no patriotic music, just a drum cadence. I miss  the music.

People of all ages lined the parade route; some sitting in lawn chairs, some standing, some putting their hand over their heart as Old Glory went by, or saluting as the veterans rode past in the back of a pick-up truck. The veterans still had somber faces, still wore their uniforms with pride.

I wondered how many minds were thinking about lost loved ones. The husbands, wives, sons, daughters, grandchildren or friends who had served their country, but maybe had never returned from the war they had served in.

Today’s morning TV was filled with images of Americans observing the holiday by placing flowers and flags flapping in the breeze on the graves of fallen soldiers. By the end of the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will have visited cemeteries all across America to pay their respects.

I started to end this blog by looking up the number of those who have died serving their country but stopped, knowing the number would be way too high. It would hurt too much.

In the past few weeks, I have attended celebrations with my family, special occasions such as a sports banquet, dance recital, a granddaughter’s 16th birthday, and watched my oldest granddaughter graduate from high school.

How many men and women fighting for MY FREEDOM would have loved to have been present for just one of those special occasions involving their own children? How long has it been, for some military moms or dads, since they have hugged their children or kissed them good night? I can’t even imagine what life must be like for the kids who miss their moms or dads every day. Just wishing and praying they were at home or on their way home.

Every year, I watch the National Memorial Day Concert from Washington, D.C. Last night the show was hard to watch. I didn’t cry, I sobbed. Instead of just saying nice, appropriate things about our service men and women to make us feel patriotic, or maybe to ease our consciences a bit, they chose to tell stories about true American heroes. Real-life stories about injury, death, and people trying to pick up the pieces of their forever changed lives.

Stories about real-life service men and women who are still struggling to find their way back to an old life, before war. A grown woman told of the heartbreak of losing her father (when she was eight) while he was serving in Vietnam. Another story was of a young husband and father, severely injured in an explosion, who struggles daily with difficult rehabilitation. He will never hug his children again. Never walk again.

All of the stories were so moving, filled with bravery and courage. Stories such as these should be incorporated into history books so our children and grandchildren can gain a better understanding of the horrors of war. Wars are more than names of generals, dates, numbers. Wars do irreparable damage that change people and the world we live in.

This Memorial Day, let us be grateful to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for  America’s freedom. It is a debt we can never repay. As Americans, we owe it to our all–voluntary military to appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is.

Ask any Gold Star family, they can tell us what it means. It’s about the men and women who have given their lives for this country. Special men and women who died to make it possible for us to live in freedom.

Starting today, my prayer list will include praying for our service men and women every single day (and their families waiting at home). I invite you to join me in praying for their safety. To honor and respect our veterans, and those who still serve.

Ending on a Positive Note: Wars can’t possibly be the answer. There must be a better way to settle our differences. There must be a way for us to learn to get along, to find peace. As the song that closed last night’s concert says, “Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin with Me.”

Breaking a Habit

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

-Warren Buffet-

_________________________________________________________

Have you ever tried to give up something you love?

For years, I tried to cut back on my favorite soft drink but was never successful. Knew I was drinking too much, but it just tasted so good. The problem was I had one at lunch, had another in mid-afternoon, another one for dinner, and one more in the evening. It had become a habit.

Habits become like second nature to us. They’re not so easy to break.

Think about all of the things we do each day without thinking. Habits that are like second nature. Our habits start when we get up in the morning and don’t stop until we turn out the lights and go to bed.

Talking to friends or colleagues would often bring good advice, well-intentioned, but frequently didn’t fit into the structure of my day. It was hard to stay motivated, difficult to think about reasons to change.

There are even self-help books proposing ways to change or break a habit. Books with suggestions such as making a plan, writing it down, starting small by eliminating one (Coke) a day for a week, analyzing when and why I was doing what I was doing.

Often I would make a note on my calendar in big block letters, STOP DRINKING COKE and it worked until I just forgot, second nature kicked in, I ordered a Coke without thinking.

Articles I read tried to convince me anything that could clean dirt and grime from the hubcaps on my car couldn’t possibly be something one would want in their body.

Sometimes I just decided to change which is the most crucial part of the process. But, unless you are truly ready to change, you will probably have trouble following through.

Happy to report I haven’t had one single drop of Coke for eight years. Want to know how I did it? It was easy.

All it took to go “cold turkey” was losing my sense of smell and taste!

In May 2009 checking into the hospital to have a small procedure done, I had no issues smelling or tasting. Two days later was released not being able to do either due to a severe reaction to a medication.

Some months later, I did regain most of my taste, but it was gradual. I was surprised to discover Coke tasted gross, sort of the way I imagine motor oil might taste, so I only had a few sips before giving it up for good.

Since I had no control over losing my taste, it was easy. Who really craves drinking motor oil? Oh, I still enjoy a soft drink with pizza or Skyline Chili. The only difference is nowadays it is white, never a cola. Today, water is usually my drink of choice which is a good thing.

My loss of smell is more difficult. After eight years, I occasionally catch a whiff of a simmering pot roast, someone’s perfume or aftershave, or a hint of my granddaughters’ shampoo when they give me a hug. Most of the time, there is nothing.

I took my sense of smell for granted. Never realized how much I would miss the wonderful smells that surround us every day until they were gone. Flowers in the spring, fresh-baked cookies, clean sheets right out of the dryer, or the fresh clean smell in the air right after it rains.

I’ve never liked coffee so it seems odd that the most frequent smell in my little world is Tom’s coffee brewing now and again in the morning.

Still have lots of habits; some good, some bad. Plenty of those need to be altered. Some may be out of my control. Others will require discipline.

So what have I learned from this experience? I have discovered life is what it is. Aging is teaching me it’s okay to cut myself some slack and learn to live the best I can with the cards I have been dealt.

Ending on a Positive Note: Life is so short; it seems a waste of time to concentrate on things beyond my control. I miss the smell of everyday life but am so thankful for the many other blessings I still can enjoy.

 

To Have and To Hold

 

Wedding DayTom and I have been married fifty-three years today. Taking our vows in front of God, family, and friends on that balmy, rainy Saturday night in 1964 still glows brightly in my memory.

Tom had a head full of hair, twinkling brown eyes, and was a few pounds lighter than today. I wore a pill-box veil and a size eight wedding gown that my mother had to take it in at the waist. It is now carefully folded in my cedar chest; never to be worn again.

Remembering our wedding vows makes me reflect on how young we were in March 1964. Even though we loved each other and were confident we had chosen wisely, what had we really known about spending the rest of our life together?

I, Agnes, take you, Tom, to be my lawful wedding husband…
Fifty-three years ago, that word husband was brand new. At that point, my experience of marriage was limited to choosing the perfect white dress, making an appointment to get my hair done, being excited about picking out new furniture, and putting gifts away in the apartment that was to be our first home. Oh, and hoping Tom would like my cooking.

To have and to hold from this day forward…
That phrase sounded so romantic. Our love seemed so complete. We walked down the aisle. Tom carried me over the threshold of our new home, a feat he certainly couldn’t do today. I was clueless as to what life would be like along the way to spending 19,345 days together. Our love was just so new, I had no idea how much stronger it would need to be to survive what was to come.

For better, for worse…
I thought our life would be all “for better” days. I couldn’t have even imagined the “for worse” days in front of us. Days of having to live with bad decisions and learning to make the best of whatever came our way.

Struggling to understand and live with the loss of so many loved ones; parents, brothers, and close friends who were like family. I certainly could never have fathomed the unbearable pain of losing one of our children.

Our youth made it hard to comprehend that life could not be perfectly planned. We still had to learn we were not in control.

For richer, for poorer…
We couldn’t imagine the hardships that awaited us, the sacrifices we would have to make. We thought if we worked hard and planned wisely, we would always have more money than bills.

The only thing I did know for sure…when we had children, we would love them with all our hearts. Wouldn’t matter if they were girls or boys, we knew they would be the most important part of our lives. We wanted four, but the doctor stopped us at two. God blessed us beyond measure with two beautiful, bright, funny, kind, and loving daughters who were more than enough. We felt complete. However, when our sweet granddaughters arrived, we discovered our hearts could expand with more love, a love that melted into pure joy.

In sickness and in health…
We weren’t thinking of living with heart attacks and strokes. Our young minds had never even heard of cancer, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s; unknown diseases that would impact our future in unbelievable ways.

To love and to cherish…
As we stood before the minister vowing to love and cherish, we thought our love was perfect, as we shared common goals and seemed to be on the same wavelength. How could we have realized our thinking could be so different when we starting sharing one another’s space? We never envisioned being angry over insignificant things like taking out the garbage or the way we organized the garage.

Until death do us part…
Planning to grow old together, we were two young kids who had not lived long enough to have experienced life’s uncertainty, pain, or loss. Death was for really old people and seemed so far away.

This is my solemn vow…
Our life has been a good one, but not without obstacles and trials along the way. Married life starts out on a high note. With a little luck couples mature at the same time and enjoy a long life together.

Our vows were sacred and we meant them to last forever. Although marriage was harder than we ever dreamed, we did grow into one union, promising never to leave or forsake the other. Though our life has been tough at times we are grateful for mostly “for better” days.

Never considering ourselves poor, but certainly not rich, we prefer to use my mother’s definition as a measure. “No one is ever poor if they are surrounded by people who love them.” That perception has given us more riches than we could ever have dreamed possible. Our lives have been all about family, belonging to each other, and to a God that continues to offer strength, guidance, and faithfulness.

Has health turned to sickness? Today, the boundaries of our world together are defined by our health issues. Tom is still the same man I fell in love with so many years ago, but our illnesses have taken their toll on both of us. We struggle to do things we used to take for granted. We walk like those little Weebles; you know the little wooden people that wobble but never fall down, at least not lately.

Tom’s brown eyes still twinkle when he makes me laugh.  Holding his hand still, makes me feel safe and warm inside. He still makes me feel loved. The oldest in our families now, we talk about our myriads of memories, a lot. Memories serving as the fabric that weaves our happy life together.

People occasionally ask for our secret. How did we stay married so long when many others gave up? Our answer is simple. We took vows; honored our commitments. It was the right thing to do. We loved each other enough to work at making it last. But, at this stage of comfortable love, I tease him that maybe I just have too many years of training invested in him to start over.

Just as we vowed, we are still holding on, still together, and just as we planned growing old together. I believe God knew we belonged together and that’s why He gave us the forever kind of love.

Ending on a Positive Note: Today is a special day, but in many ways, it’s just another day; an ordinary day. We are so grateful for each other and thank God for blessing us with fifty-three years of wonderful ordinary days.

100 Years Old and Going Strong

Williams - Plaque Stone
Plaque – 100th anniversary of Williams Avenue Elementary

Do you like celebrations? I think everyone does. I know I do.

But, celebrations don’t just happen. They are a lot of work. They take time and energy to plan and implement. Attendees usually have a good time. It’s always fun to hang out with people we haven’t seen in a while.

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, Tom and I attended the 100th anniversary of Williams Avenue Elementary, his old grade school. Although North Norwood had been my grade school, I was familiar with the Williams building since I had worked in the Board of Education offices, which were located in the wing added in 1952.

Although, there was a little snow on the ground, we got up early and headed to Norwood. Since we both had lived in Norwood for years, we had no need for directions. I think we could have driven there with our eyes closed. Landing a great parking space right in front of the school, we headed up the front steps.

As we entered the building, there was a buzz of activity in the front hall; people hugging old friends, picking up name tags and tickets for lunch, and everyone talking excitedly in expectation of a fun day. Happy sounds in an old, familiar setting.

Everyone, alumni, teachers, and friends were reminiscing about days spent in the beautiful old building. Moments from other school celebrations crowded into my mind. Williams was the last of the Norwood School’s five elementary schools to celebrate a 100th birthday. Norwood High School had celebrated their centennial in 2014 preceded by Allison, Sharpsburg, and Norwood View. North Norwood had celebrated its 97th anniversary when the building was closed because of low enrollment. It now functions as The Hamilton County ESC Learning Center. I am grateful the building is still educating students. I find empty school buildings once alive with activity and noise from kids laughing and learning so very sad.

Looking around the building on Saturday, I was pleased to see that Williams was still in such good condition. I wasn’t surprised because all Norwood schools had been built to last; standing as strong anchors in this wonderful city for over 100 years. As I stood observing the happy faces, the conversations, the joy and laughter; I teared up seeing first-hand the evidence of a rich heritage of community.

How many people had roamed the halls of this beautiful old school? How many lives had been impacted, changed by spending time here?

How many dedicated principals and teachers had inspired students to learn lifelong skills that would help prepare them for their grown-up life in the future?

How many parents had attended parent-teacher nights, participated in PTA, attended plays, music concerts, and basketball games? How many had served as a volunteer in some capacity? Always showing up, offering encouragement and support, just being there for the kids.

How many neighbors had bought candy bars, wrapping paper, candles or whatever the Williams kids had been selling?

How many people working together to help kids grow and gain confidence. How many people making a difference in lives and helping kids become who they are today?

Crowding into the auditorium, the celebration started with Mark Gabbard, current principal of Williams, welcoming everyone. Although the seats in the auditorium seemed a little smaller, the old grads were enthusiastic as congratulatory letters from local and state leaders were read and when current students presented a brief look back at 100 years of history.

The keynote speaker was Eric Benken, who had attended Williams Avenue from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Eric had a distinguished military career, but his talk on Saturday was from the perspective of a former student happy to be back in his old grade school. His memories were vivid as he named every teacher he had while at Williams; even revealing that his first love was his second grade teacher. He shared his pride to have been a member of the Safety Patrol and a flag boy with the responsibility of raising and lowering the American flag every day. His words of gratitude for all of the teachers who planted seeds and helped shape his life were touching. Laughingly, he even thanked those teachers with eyes in the back of their heads who kept him on the straight and narrow.

I know his words echoed the thoughts of many in the auditorium. We learn from everyone we meet in life as we encounter different experiences and circumstances, but elementary teachers are truly instrumental in our early learning. Their loving support and positive encouragement carries a lot of weight. They are just special people.

As the program drew to a close, everyone was invited to stand and sing the school fight song. As I looked around at people of all ages singing, “We’ll be loyal sons and daughters of Williams Avenue…No matter where we go, you can count on us Williams Avenue,” I once again teared up. Simple moments like this are among the best times of life.

Alumni took off in all directions, walking down the hall, recalling which teacher taught in the various classrooms. Entering the library, Tom was quick to tell me, “This was the old Home Economics room.” I often tease him about not being able to remember what he had for dinner, but his memory was running on all cylinders with details of his old grade school.

At lunch, everyone had a good laugh as we tried to figure out a dignified way to sit at the picnic tables on wheels in the cafeteria.  The wooden tables and chairs had made way for modern seating, but what works for young kids doesn’t seem to fit old alumni bodies very well.

Tom saved the best till last, as his last place to visit was the gym. He was delighted with the changes. A big W in the middle of the brand new gym floor and a bright red Wildcat logo painted on the wall. No doubt recollections of some of his free throws and Wildcat wins would surface on the way home.

As we left, I ran into an old high school classmate, who was also a former Williams Wildcat. I hadn’t seen him in about ten years, so we played catch-up and talked until we realized we were freezing. What a treat to see him.

The best thing about growing up in Norwood is that going to a celebration of any kind means you are going to see tons of people you know. Some who went to school with your kids, old PTA buddies, longtime friends or friends you haven’t seen in a long time.

Anytime you talk to anyone from Norwood longer than a few minutes, you are bound to be asked two questions. First question, “What year did you graduate?” and second, “Which grade school did you go to?”  Norwood grads are extremely loyal to their grade schools.

Tom and I were so thankful we got to attend the 100th anniversary of the beautiful old Williams Avenue Elementary School building. The staff and volunteers are to be commended for their hard work and devoted effort that made the 100th celebration a big success. It was a wonderful day.

Norwood was such a great place to grow up. No matter where our life takes us after graduation–no matter how long it has been since we have seen one another—we still remember the happy days of going to school in Norwood. Today, that school just happened to be Williams Avenue Elementary. Happy 100th Birthday, Williams Avenue!

Ending on a Positive Note: As Norwood grads, let us all be grateful for the significance of Norwood, the schools, the teachers, the people and the experiences that made and continue to make such a difference in our lives.

I’ve Grown Accustomed To This Life

During the week, Tom and I have about six TV shows we enjoy watching together. But, there are others he likes and I don’t. When those moments happen, I pick up my Kindle and read. I really prefer reading real books, but the print seems to have shrunk over the years. My Kindle gives me the option of enlarging the font to a size that is easier to read.

Most of the time, when I read I simply ignore my surroundings. Immersing myself in a book, I have always found it easy to tune out the world. My hearing is not great and I have been wearing hearing aids for some years. Although they allow me to hear, they can be bothersome and quite annoying. Sometimes, when Tom is watching a football game and the noise is interfering with my reading, I just take my hearing aids out. Problem solved.

Recently we were trying to figure out what to do with our Saturday. Stacy had stopped by for a couple of hours. We always enjoy spending time with our girl. She had been alone. Tim and the girls had other commitments. When she left to pick up Jess from dancing, Tom suggested we watch movies all afternoon since no football games were scheduled. We love movies, but on regular TV it’s difficult to find something we hadn’t seen before. Flipping channels, Tom wondered aloud if we could find anything decent.

We’re lucky that our preferences have sort of merged over the years. Our choices seldom include science fiction or the ones where the world gets blown up. I like the kinder, gentler movies. Give me a good story that makes me laugh or cry and I’m hooked for the next few hours. I love real stories; you know the ones that tell the story of a real person, who really accomplished something. Tom likes to watch a good mystery.

On this Saturday, we ran across a channel celebrating Sandra Bullock Day. The Blind Side was just starting. Although we had seen it before, it was one of our favorites. A true story of Michael Oher, the film follows him as a homeless young student on the streets of Memphis, through his years at a Christian Academy, his adoption by a wealthy family, to his position as a highly sought-after prospect in college football, finally becoming a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens. The movie had scored big at the box office and Sandra Bullock had taken home the Best Actress Oscar.

We hadn’t seen it in a while, so even though we were familiar with the plot, we enjoyed seeing it again, agreeing that it was probably Sandra Bullock’s finest hour. However, the next movie was a lesser known film called The Net. Advertised as an American cyber action thriller, I remembered it, but Tom swore he had never seen it.

The film was okay, but a bit outdated as the computers were still using floppy discs. Sandra Bullock’s character is a systems analyst working from her home. Someone steals her identity and she spends the rest of the film trying to find the culprit and the reason why her life has been hacked. Along the way, she uncovers a conspiracy scheme that she alone must expose. A little far-fetched, but the ending was the same one I remembered from years past.

Throughout the movie, I asked Tom if he remembered it. His answer was always, “Nope, nothing is familiar.” Finally at the end of the movie, he says, “Wait a minute, I think I do remember this movie. Is this the movie where her mother has Alzheimer’s?”  My response, “Good memory, hon.”

Our life has become so comfortable. We’re so predictable when watching TV. Our conversation is often, “Hey, hit the pause button, gotta go to the bathroom.” “Stop it for a minute. I need something to drink.” “I’m getting up. Want a cookie.”

If Tom enjoys the movie, he tries to stay awake. If there is no noise coming from his side of the room. He is probably not into the movie and not far from snooze land. However, his snoring is not as bad as it used to be. Maybe I’ve just grown accustomed to the sound.

Ending on a Positive Note: I am so grateful for the ordinary days. So glad Tom and I made it to the comfortable stage of love.

Encounter of the Best Kind

Recently, Tom and I went out for lunch. The restaurant choice was easy. We both said, “Cracker Barrel” almost at the same time. One can always depend on their food to taste good; never any surprises at Cracker Barrel.  Only downfall is I always like to take a quick look at the merchandise in their store. While I shop, Tom pays the bill and heads for the rocking chairs out front. We’ve got it down to a science.

About halfway through our meal, an elderly gentleman was seated at the table next to us. I saw him walk in. His steps were a little wobbly. He was alone. Finishing our meal, the waitress brought my walker to me. She had placed it by the fireplace, out of everyone’s way.

As I was pushing my walker past this fellow, he asked, “How do you like that thing?” I answered, “It’s sort of a pain to get in and out of the car, but using it means I can walk without falling. If I get to a point where I can’t stand, I turn it around and plop down on the seat. It’s pretty handy.”

 He gave a little wave toward the empty chair opposite him and said, “She always wanted me to get one.” I assumed he was talking about his wife, but his comment made me wonder if his wife was deceased or just not able to accompany him to lunch. I wasn’t quite sure what to say.

Taking the safe route, I asked if he would like to try my walker on for size. He declined saying, “That’s really nice, but I’ll wait for her. She likes to pick out my stuff.”

He had a few questions, so we discussed insurance coverage and where he could purchase one. Then he announced with confidence, “I think I’m going to get one as soon as she gets home from her trip.”

Politely, I asked if she would be home soon. His answer surprised me. “She will be home on Sunday. She is eighty-two and on her way to Washington. She and our daughters are participating in the Women’s March tomorrow.”

Not wanting to discuss politics, I just said, “Wow.” His face lit up with the biggest smile as he went on to talk about how proud he was of her for wanting to be a part of the March. “She’s always been a little feisty. One of the reasons I love her.”

 “If I had one of those walkers, I think I would have gone with her to offer my support.”

 As I told him how lucky he was to have a marriage that obviously was filled with love and respect, he just beamed. He asked how long Tom and I had been married and when I told him almost fifty-three years, he smiled again. “Then you know what I’m talking about.”

As I said goodbye and took my leave, I found Tom waiting patiently outside. For years, I have been accused of being able to talk to a rock. The accusation is pretty accurate. I make no excuses because having short conversations with nice people is fun.

I’ll never know his name. Pretty certain I will never see him again. But, that little 15-minute encounter made my day. What a joy to see a husband’s eyes light up with love and respect for his wife of sixty-one years. I bet she knows how lucky she is.

Ending on a Positive Note:  How lucky am I to have a husband that understands the enjoyment I get from talking to a few “human rocks” every now and then.

A Year Worth Remembering

Dr. Seuss

Today is the last day of 2012 and I am reminded of a sentence I read earlier this week. “On the eve of a brand new year, forgetting about the bad and remembering the good things that happened this past year will make for a better new year.” I can’t seem to get this sentence out of my head. Do I really want to forget the bad? Is that even possible?

Trying to forget the bad things is sort of like burying your head in the sand. Refusing to think about an unpleasant situation and hoping it will improve so you won’t have to deal with it. Life seldom allows us to truly forget the bad, but we do have the option of focusing on what is worth remembering.

2012 has been a challenging year for our family. A year filled with lots of ups and downs. Yes, there were plenty of bad things that happened, but 2012 also was filled with smiles, laughter, joy and lots of love. We tried to take the bad situations in stride and chose to focus and concentrate our energy on the journey and the true joy that can be found in doing life together!

2012 was a year of learning, growth and a new understanding of life; cherishing family and old friends, while making room to connect with so many new friends. Our lives have been blessed by the number of people who have touched our lives and forever changed us. Those are memories worth remembering.

Ending on a Positive Note: I don’t know what 2013 will bring, but I know that my only resolutions are to take the New Year one day at a time. To simplify, live more intentionally, give more than I receive, and focus on the people who matter most.