A little over a year ago I wrote about the holiday journal that I started in 2003, the year we celebrated our first holiday season in this house. (Read that post here.) Earlier this week, on a quiet evening in front of the fire, I wrote my entry for this season, covering all of the events from Thanksgiving through New Year's weekend. I realized when I was through that it was about so much more than just those events - it was about all that had happened in the last twelve months.
In February of last year, my brother was diagnosed with brain cancer. Since that time he's had surgery, radiation, chemo, the diagnosis of a new tumor, and then gamma knife radiation for that tumor. Just two days after Christmas we received the news that the gamma knife radiation was successful and that the tumor was gone! What joy!
In July my husband and I spent a wonderful week in the mountains with his brothers and sister and their spouses. The weekend after Christmas we traveled to Florida for the funeral mass for our sister-in-law who was diagnosed with stage IV cancer soon after that July gathering.
The time with those we love is precious. I never feel that I have enough of it, but every second I do have is blessed.
I ran across this video earlier this week - it says it beautifully. "Life is not an emergency." Slow down. Pay attention. Hold hands. Say "I love you" every chance you get. Cry together, laugh together, share meals and jokes and books and ideas and memories. Realize how blessed you are.