As 2012 draws to a close, I have to tell you that I have a new family, that has opened their hearts and home to me and accepted me with open arms. They have done everything they can to make me feel like I am a part of their family and special. For someone that hasn't actually enjoyed Christmas or the holidays in many many years, this has been a big shock and surprise. Since coming out to California my life has been filled with such joy and happiness that it is hard to contain. God has been so good to me this past year, has brought me such loving and caring friends both in Florida and in California that I can hardly believe how lucky I have been. Everyone one of us has a story, something that we had to face and come through in 2012 and here we are we have made it. There have been people that have inspired us, motivated us and given us the strength to push onward even when it seemed the darkest. This holiday season take the time to reach out to those that have been around you and by your side, give them the praise that you feel in your heart. Tell them how much you appreciate them, and all that they have done for you. None of us could have made it through this year without our support group, our family and friends that stood by us in our times of trouble and despair. These are the ones that have made it possible for you to look back and marvel at all that you have endured and come through and deserve the highest praise.
Though I can't put everyone's story out there I want to point out a few that have inspired me and given me hope for a brighter tomorrow and a happier future. These are stories that show strength, compassion and love. These are fighters that even when the toughest of times seemed too much to bear they pushed ever onward and have come through. I know a lot of you think that I am something of an inspiration through everything that I have come through, but I have a dear friend that lost her husband of many many years, who opened up her heart and her home to let me come out to visit. She has started to live again and with just a little visit and several hugs brought Christmas back into my life. Then there is her daughter who I have been close to since she was 8 years old that told me what was happening and wanted me to come. These two have shown me what the meaning of Christmas is all about, love, hope, happiness and joy, even inspite of troubles. Here is the unique thing about me and my friend, whenever we are apart our energies and lives seem to get off track and turned upside down, most of the time a phone call between us will straighten out our course, though sometimes it takes a bit more like a visit. I can tell you that since being here I haven't felt this good and strong in a long time. The depression and despair that had seemed to fall over the house quickly evaporated once I got here. Now with the Christmas tree up and house all decorated it seems like life is finally coming back to the house. Then there is my friend and partner who while I was going through my own health crisis's and issues in Florida was going through his own all the way across the country. Even though at times he wasn't sure about "Us" or "Me", we made it through and are together. Speaking of him, he just had neuro-surgery just two weeks ago, and what a boost to his self-confidence and self-esteem it has been. I haven't ever seen him this happy or excited since I have met him. Another friend of mine found himself in a horrible living situation that did nothing but weigh him down and destroyed his health. Yet, through it all he maintained a positive outlook and repeatedly demonstrated his strength of character in all of his emails and Facebook postings. It takes a strong person to endure circumstances like that, and to do it with such grace and love it has truly been inspiring. I am also wanting to mention my new family Voncellar, CeCe and Mary, thank you so much for being the greatest influence on your son/brother/grandson, and accepting me whole-heartedly into your family making this one of the best Christmas's ever! Then there are my friends at the Positive Champions Speakers Bureau who have been there with me through every hospitalization, every health crisis and personal /emotional crisis I have gone through this year. Even though each of them had their own health issues, and problems they made me feel accepted and part of their circle. Thank you guys you don't know how much you all mean to me. You are my family!
I know times are tough, money is tight, and Christmas this year might not be as perfect as you want it to be, just know that Life doesn't always seem to work out as it is planned or pictured. It can be better or worse depending on your point of view. Even non perfect circumstances can bring contentment and happiness. Though we may wish for the perfect picture of our minds eye, understanding that you just might not get it makes it that much easier to accept. I have often been filled with disappointments by not understanding this little concept, but this year I have a whole new set of eyes and a brand new understanding of how things truly are. We have to make our own happiness, our own perfect moments, don't wait around for life to give them too you. If you do, you will be closed off to new and wondrous things that are out there waiting for you. Understanding this will also help you to understand that even though you aren't exactly where you want to be, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Nothing worth having comes easy. It is the stuff that you have to work hard for and struggle with that are the things you treasure the most. As this year ends make sure you ring it out with good cheer and a song in your heart. Let go of the past, surrender yourself to the future, take that leap of faith and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are going to be happier and more successful in the new year than you ever have been before.
Even as I am getting ready to close this entry, a miracle of life has been granted to my family. We are welcoming our newest member born just a few minutes ago a new nephew. A new year, and a new life, what better symbol of hope can there be!
I love you all and wish you a very happy holiday season. Make sure you give praise to those that deserve it, cordiality to those that don't and share the joy and happiness of Christmas and New Years with all around you.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,