It is now January 1, 2015! A brand new start for me. As I look across the mountains my mind is flooded with pictures from the past year. The buds blooming in the spring, opening up into a rainbow of colors that is breathtaking. I wonder how many people go through life and have never had the opportunity to witness a spectacular array of such beauty. The colors change of course through time but creates memories that are so profound that they are etched in my brain for a lifetime. I cannot help but wonder, that if when my brain no longer allows me remember these pictures that are so very vibrant in my mind right now, if they will still be there? I wonder about me and other people that are diagnosed with dementia, and whether they still see these images that are stored in our brains and just not able to express it? Are they really lost? I hope not. It is pictures that can say a thousand words, right? With the thousands and thousands of pictures that my family has taken over the years of everyday living, as well as camping trips, canoeing down the St. Croix river, trips across the country, to Germany and Switzerland. Cindy and her trip to Scotland with a group of her friends. Our week in Anahiem, California, and Disney. Trips to Florida with the kids, as well as trips without them. Bringing my grandson to Fun Town for the first time when he was still in a stroller. I loved it. As I reflect on all that I have accomplished so far in my life I am overwhelmed at the scope of successes that I have had. I am the most blessed man on the planet, with a wife that loves me unconditionally as well as three of the best children that I could have ever prayed for. They have all become mature young adults who I am so very proud of. Did I mention that I feel so blessed?
I am very unsure about the future, but realize that so are you. No one knows for certain what tomorrow is going to bring, but one thing that I do know is that little by little I am going to lose pieces of my past. In many respects it is a comfort to me knowing that considering I don’t have an accident or some other unforeseen event, I will not experience that kind of pain. I won’t feel the pain involved in a lost spouse, child, sibling or friend. I have already lost my parents, but still have my mother and father in laws. I am aware that I will be missing so very much of my children’s lives and that makes me sad. My grandchildren are a gift from God, but then so are my children and my wife. I don’t want to miss any part of any loved one, but am mature enough to know that I will. I am going to live this new year like no other. I am not going to wait to go to Acadia again. I am not waiting to go see the Red Sox this summer at the Green Monster, or go hiking the many trails that our state has to offer. I’m going camping this summer with my wife and spend some nights out in the woods like we used to when my kids were young. I’m going to the landing this summer with my wife for ice cream and feed the ducks. (Yes, I do know that I am not supposed to feed the ducks). I’m a rebel! The point that I really am trying to make is that you need not wait to do the things that you so badly want to do. We truly do not know what is on that next turn, that next page or chapter of our life. Take a chance and do something spontaneous. Create memories for you, and more importantly for those that you are going to leave behind.
I am scared of what lies ahead, but am sincerely comfortable knowing that my family and loved ones understand that what ever I do or don’t do in the coming years, I am still the same person inside. They already know that just because I am not able to express my emotions or feelings, I am still the same person. I am trying very hard at remaining upbeat for my family. I am determined to love as long as possible the ones who have made me into the man that I am today. I owe a great debt to my friends throughout the years who have been a part of my life in more ways than I am able to express with pen and paper. My friends, I love you all and thank you from the very depths of my heart for all that you are, and for all that you have done for me. As for my family, I hope it goes without saying how very much I appreciate each and every one of you. I hope you all know that I love you all to the moon and back, and that when I am no longer able to express it in words you will still cling to my words today that remind you once again that I love you more than humanly possible and that will never change. You are all responsible in some way as to the man that I have become. I hope that I have been able to make you proud at being your husband, your father, your friend. I know that I am proud of you. Thank you all for being a part of my 2014, and I look forward to sharing my 2015 with all of you as well.
As I turn the page entering into another year, I choose to think of it as an adventure. What is it that God has in store for me? We travel to Florida again next month, thanks to a family that loves me. I am excited to have my wife, all my children, as well as our two grandchildren together if only for a few days. There truly is nothing that is as important as family and friends. Cherish yours as you too venture into this New Year. I pray that it is all that you hope for it to be.