Monday, January 2, 2017
This year the best holiday gift was having all my kids and grandkids together. I even got to bond with my three and half year old grandson who I haven't seen since he was a baby. It's tough when family lives far away.
I am really proud of my girls. They made it happen. They are strong and independently minded people. It's amazing they are able to work so well together. The downside of raising free thinking children is that it's often like herding cats. They have strong opinions on how things should be done.
Christmas hasn't always been a good time for me. Now I can think back to this past Christmas with warm thoughts.
My lovely wife and I just celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. Not bad for a couple of 20 year old kids who only knew each other 4 months.
We did something different this year for our New Years celebration. My cousin's girlfriend threw a kids party. The brilliant thing was that instead of waiting until midnight, kid's New Year starts at 10. We did a countdown, toasted with juice, then shuffled all the little ones off to bed. Wonderful.
The only downside is that I lost another brother firefighter. We'd worked together for a long time. He was in good health until a sudden series of strokes. The guy passed away on the 31st. He wasn't all that much older than me. He was a character and will be missed.
However, life goes on. Having all those healthy and happy kids around during the holidays really brought that home for me. I am truly blessed.
Hope this coming year is a good one for all of you. One thing I've learned is that we are responsible for our own happiness. I'm focusing on the positive while preparing against the negative.