Sunday, January 17, 2010

Trying to find GRATITUDE in the last of 2009

2009 ended on a sad note. 

I had planned on posting a tribute to our daughter on December 12th, which was three years since the horrific car accident that robbed her of her beautiful life. 

Michelle was an amazing soul.  Her beautiful smile lit up the room, when she walked in.  EVERY time!  Her warmth was like a fresh dose of sunshine.  She taught me the value of organization and planning.  I know she's with me often, to remind me to continue to declutter my life.  Intellectually I know there is no such thing as perfection.  But, Michelle was pretty close to perfect.

I'm grateful to have shared life with her, if even for a short time.  

She is an angel whose spirit is with me often to inspire and to guide me along my way here. 

Yes, I had planned on writing my annual tribute to Michelle on the 12th..... but sometimes things don't always follow our plans.

Early that morning, I received a phone call that my father had passed away (just a couple weeks shy of his 87th birthday).  Selfishly, just as we don't want our loved ones to die, I didn't want Dad to leave this earth either.  He was such a strong man, that I actually believed he would outlive me.  Silly, I know, but it just seemed like nothing could ever remove his ability to remain strong through any adversity.

When Dad was only 58, Mom suffered a severe stroke.  That was her 59th birthday.  Dad cared for her during almost the entire following seventeen years. 

Dad smoked cigarettes from the time he was eleven years old until just a couple years before he died.  That's over seventy years!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He didn't eat right, never exercised, didn't go to the dentist, and didn't go to the doctor until his later years.  During his working years, he worked six days a week, ten to twelve hours a day.  Everything that we are told will kill us,  seemed to have no adverse affect on Dad.  He was a pillar of strength.

But, eventually, as will happen to each of us, it was time for him to leave this earth.

The past thirteen years had been difficult for Dad, being without Mom, the love of his life.  She passed away one month before their 50th wedding anniversary.  It's comforting to know that they are now together again.  I'm grateful for this.

I'm eternally grateful for all the amazing wonderful memories of all the awesome years shared with my Dad.

From this moment back in 1952 ~

to this one in 2009 ~

My Dad was my rock.  I'm grateful for all that he taught me, for all he did for me, for everything he was. 

I'm grateful that I now have another angel in heaven, watching over me, just as he did here on earth.

Yes, even through some of our saddest and most heartbreaking moments, it IS possible to find gratitude.

Wishing all of you a GRATITUDE-filled 2010..............