I am sitting here this New Year's Eve with my favourite scent of Christmas Tree in the background, looking forward to Travis getting home from work (late, but before midnight) to share a bottle of Veuve. Okay, lets be honest, most of the bottle is for me! As I reflect back on my year, which is easy to do thanks to my share everything-diary-of-a-blog, the theme for me is definitely gratitude.
Thanks to my good friend Marie-France, I was able to participate in the Canadian Mental Health Association's annual Client Christmas Party. I'm not gonna lie, I was extremely self-conscious to show up in front of people I hadn't seen in awhile in my walker/wheelchair. I notice my limited strength and mobility and wonder how much others notice it. I am supposed to be the strong one for my clients, but as per usual, they inspire me probably more than I ever have them. I was rewarded by nothing but hugs & kisses and shouts of "you changed my life!". I was also able to sit down with many staff who I hadn't had the chance to catch up with in awhile. Such a special event.
I had a wonderful warm (17 degrees warm!) Christmas with mom & dad who were mostly well behaved, although we have created a Canasta fiend out of my dad who threw way too many black threes my way. Al & Jeannie took us to see the Tran-Siberian Orchestra for a Christmas themed rock opera. They spent Christmas Eve with us while Travis was napping in preparation for his Christmas overnight turkey marathon, cooking over 200 in total for two days!
I am super grateful to Sue & Wayne for forgoing their usual Christmas cards and Christmas extras this year to instead contribute and raise money for ALS. Whenever they had any engagements, they let it be known that they were collecting cash on my behalf. At the Ryder's Eve house party the donation box circled and everyone from unemployed students, first time jobs, etc. all donated. One friend took the donation box to the after-hockey game party and collected funds. This Christmas they raised $1500 for the ALS Society of Canada. Amazing!
I feel extremely honoured to be featured in the Ottawa Citizen's Christmas Editorial entitled "This Christmas We Remember the Stories of the People who Make us Want to be Better". If you would like to read the article, click on the link below.
Gratitude. The word seems underwhelming for what is in my heart. Thank you to all of you who have supported and continue to support myself and my family in so many ways. We live (I say we as it really is a family disease) with what could have been an extremely lonely illness. But you unrelenting beautiful people refuse to allow me to feel alone and you refuse to allow me to give up. I will continue to survive to the best of my ability so that I can share as many precious moments with you as possible.