I am late packing and loading the car. I am always late these days. And it’s ok. There are worse things in life. I am learning to be all right with my new shortcomings and appreciate my new strengths and recognize my contributions that enhance this world. It is a process that will probably last my lifetime, but one I am steadfastly enjoying being cognizant of. Life is good. Really. It is.
I know there are many parts of my life that just suck. There is no other word to use (not one I will publish anyway). There are times I am severely depressed. I cry. I sleep. I become a sloth. Again, it is ok. It is a process.
There is another part of my life that is the best it has ever been. The love. The support. The care. The new friendships and re-connecting with old friends as well. The opportunities that have arisen and the feeling of contribution. I am constantly being thankful for something positive happening in our lives, either for myself, our children or for Jim.
This week funding for Alzheimer’s research reached an all time high. Hillary Clinton became the first presidential candidate to make Alzheimer’s research a priority and suggested doubling the amount just passed. That is what we have been fighting for. Surely other candidates will follow.
Our Christmas has already been a wonderful one. The spirit of the season has been sprinkled throughout our home and our lives. We have had much to be happy about. Jim had his two best Air Force buddies come for a visit and he was amazing. He didn’t drool. He wasn’t hunched over. He showed lots of expressions and laughed. You could understand him most of the time. It was like a Christmas miracle. They had such a nice visit. It was good for all of us.
Today, we stopped by his home and he was not quite the same. He was hunched a little and not as aware of what was happening around him. But the staff had decided they wanted to help Jim do what he always does best: Give to others. So, they got the kids and I cards and gift cards and got me a new watch that were from Jim. It was heartwarming to see his smile and feel his hug and his kiss as I thanked him for his wonderful gifts. And the staff. Wow. How thoughtful. How generous. How, how….how do you convey the depths of gratitude? Not only do they take great care of Jim so I can take care of the kids, but they also find a way to give back to us through the material that transfer into emotional.
Our world seems to be full of hate and turmoil and so many events that challenge our belief in our neighbors. Our family is blessed to be reminded each day of the good that is surrounding us even while there is much to be horrified about. I challenge each person to commit to making our world a place that reminds us all of the good we can be and should be. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. It can be a small gesture or a grand one. It can be whatever you can do at that moment. Imagine if each of us took the time to hold the door open for others, or paid for someone else’s coffee, or picked up that piece of trash someone else threw down or refused to get angry at the person who cuts us off while driving down the road. People make mistakes. Forgive. Know that we each are fighting our own battles. Make the world the place we want to live in and we want our children to live in. There is enough ugliness without adding any extra. I am just as guilty as the next person of not always being the most patient or most thoughtful, but I will continue to improve. Will you?
I was asked today what I wanted for Christmas. Without trying to sound cheesy or like a Miss America wannabe…my true and real answer (besides a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease) is for everyone to be treated the way our family has been for the past year. I wish for everyone to feel the love and receive the help that our family has been blessed with. Life is a rough journey and if we all stick together, the path can be a smoother one. So, my Christmas wish is for all of us to be a little kinder, a little more patient and understanding and little more generous with our time and our love.