24 December 2008

Holiday Greetings

The last month has been incredibly busy and I am sure your's has been too! I am finally getting around to some holiday greetings.

Dear Readers,

This is my greeting to you as 2008 comes to an end and 2009 is just about here. No matter the personal, country, or world conditions, there is much to be thankful for. I turned 60 this year and that is something to be thankful for (ouch!) as it is better than not turning 60. I moved to a one-level rental townhome that I love and plan to stay here for at least two years.

I just spent a Christmas celebration weekend with my oldest son and daughter-in-law, my daughter and son-in-law, and four of the grandchildren. My daughter and family come to the Twin Cities every other year for Christmas so it was our turn to go to Hermantown to be with them. It was a great time to be thankful for. Tonight I will spend Christmas Eve with my oldest son and family. They told me I have to stay overnight so that Santa won’t be confused about where to leave my Christmas Stocking! After Christmas morning with them, I will spend time with my Dad. My youngest son moved to Washington, DC this year and will spend Christmas with friends.

2008 started out on a good note as I traveled to Salt Lake City to teach at the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. It was my twelfth year are part of SLIG. It was also a trip to have a family reunion of sorts – with many from my genealogy family. On January 8th, I spoke to my Mom’s main caregiver back in Minnesota and was told she was having a good day. The good start ended with the phone call from my sister Linda that same evening telling me that Mom had passed away. She had suffered for many years surviving breast cancer, emphysema, severely broken leg that got worse, bad osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other maladies. She no longer spoke and the glint of recognition of family beyond my Dad had been gone for a long time. She is no longer suffering, but I still miss the frequent phone calls we used to have.

The shock of my Mother’s sudden death was difficult. The cost to go back home was also a shock. Then my Dad called and told me to stay in Salt Lake City – he was going to have the service immediately and he knew the airfare cost was prohibitive. My “family reunion” family had a special memorial service for Mom. It was perfect. Some friends mourned their own losses, too. This other family is very special to me. My Dad later said he wished he had been there with me. I was fortunate to see many of these friends at conferences and seminars throughout 2008. I also have a reunion every so often with a group of friends from elementary school.

Several good friends passed away during the year and I miss them. I do admire them for their upbeat attitudes as they fought disease. Others are still fighting valiantly. Some friends are spending their first holiday season without their significant other or in the midst of a family crisis. It will be difficult, but remember that you will make it through – just be sure to do something special for yourself and reach out to others if you need someone to talk to. You have my phone number and I am always willing to listen.

My oldest son was married this summer to a woman I dearly love. Their outdoor ceremony was perfect as was the day. Jim has one daughter and Jamie has one daughter and three sons. We will all be together tonight. I knew that they were all part of my family once they began teasing me about my height.

My Dad is amazing. His mind is sharp and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration at my sister and brother-in-law’s new lake home. Dad played cards for hours with us and got off some real zingers as he teased us. He turned 89 this year and I wish his body was as good as his mine. I love you Dad.

I look forward to 2009. My biggest wishes are for better health for my Dad and some more positive changes in this country and the world.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and best wishes for all celebrations and neat memories to all the special people in my life,



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