This is the time of year when we are rushing around creating the perfect holiday for our family and friends and we are reminded to count our blessings.  It’s a ritual while we worship and welcome the new year that we look over our life and reassess what we have and what is missing, what we want and what we need.  It’s a beautiful time of year…sometimes.

We help others who are not so fortunate so that our hearts won’t break at the irony of all we have when they have so little.  We look kindly towards those we may not notice the rest of the year.  We vow to look at the world this way all the time.  And, we do try.

This has not been the most holiday like time in our family.  In the last week, I had surgery (nothing horrible), my daughter-in-law’s mother died and there were horrible stories of a mass school shooting in the middle of it all.  But the strength of family, of people, prevails and we go on.  I’m a little surprised when people comment on how much our family has had to endure through the years, specifically meaning the loss of my husband and son to cancer.  Friends comment on our strength.  I don’t think we are any different from other families as we all have things going on with our core that may not be as visible as our losses.  The main thing is that we keep going…but don’t most people?  It’s hard to stop life coming at you.  We’ll have a wonderful Christmas together, laughing at memories of those who aren’t with us, and hugging each other as we make new ones.  Each year has its own story that becomes part of our history.

What keeps me going is a knowledge, learned through loss, that we don’t know how much time we have on earth, so we need to use it to create new memories, happy ones, when we can.  Those are our strength.  When Alan died, a minister told me I was greedy.  He said it in a kindly way, but I was a little taken aback.  I’ve absorbed it and understand he was right.  I have so much and want it to always be the same, but that’s just not the way life works.  The gift that I treasure most now is happiness.  I’ve learned that I have an abundance, an endless supply, in my life.  I understand the value of this blessing as I look around the world and understand that some people never experience a single minute of happiness in their entire life.  How can I not be grateful with all I have been given?  I am blessed beyond belief.

We all move from day to day, not really knowing what each moment will bring.  I hope that in these moments you receive happiness, true happiness, to add to your supply.