Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Having Said All That...

I'm gonna let some pictures do the talking.
What a year this has been!

 I cut off the dreads before the chemo had a chance to do so.

 Then I shaved off the short hair when the chemo began its dastardly work.

 I was blessed to be a witness at the baptism of this beautiful baby boy.

 I tried on a few wigs and hair pieces. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll just be bald!


 I did it - I made it through chemo!

 I had to say farewell to one of my favorite pastors ever.
No, he's not dead. He just moved to Connecticut.

I had a blast in Florida with my brother, his wife, and their wonderful family.

I spent some quality time with this fine young man before he bid us all farewell.
I miss you, Wrangler, but not nearly as much as Gibbs does.

 Out over the ocean with my Spain journal, my iPad, my pen case, and high hopes for an awesome trip.

 Leather wings on the Hermes motorcycle in Madrid.
I'm glad they weren't selling bags at that exhibit;
I might have bought one.

 I would follow that man just about anyplace.

 Sangria in Spain

 The beach in San Sebastian, Spain

Heading for my gate at Barajas Airport on October 23rd, I was reminded yet again:
"Don't go alone."

If there is anything I have learned this year, it is this: I am not alone. 
I have never been alone. I never will be alone. 
I wasn't alone in chemo, ever. 
I wasn't alone as I waited to go in for surgery. 
I wasn't alone as I flew across the ocean and landed in my beloved Spain. 
Even when I walked the beach on San Sebastian on my own, I wasn't alone. 
I wasn't alone when I finished my herceptin treatments. 
I wasn't alone when the port was put in or when it was removed. 
I am not alone now as I celebrate the victories and challenges of 2013. 
I will not be alone as I welcome in 2014.

In 2013, my word for the year was "strength."

Strength to rebound from surgery.
Strength to regain my mobility and range of motion.
Strength to embrace and love my newly-reshaped body.
Strength to endure all and emerge victorious from the battle with kanswer.
Strength to remain joyful and grateful.
Strength to find reasons to laugh in the darkest moments.
Strength to encourage others who were dealing with their own difficult times.
Strength to finish 2013 well and enter 2014 with hope.

I am reminded of the verse from that old hymn of the church, Great is thy faithfulness...
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father.
There is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Summer and winter, springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, 
blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.

Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand has provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

(Here's another song about the faithfulness of God. I'm really not "a music person," but I've been enjoying youtube videos of Gospel music lately. Who knows? I may become a music person yet.)

Having said all that, having posted all these photos, 
having posted links to great music, I will end with this:
I wish you a happy, blessed, healthy, joy-filled new year, my friends.
I pray that 2014 be your best year ever. I'm certainly planning to make it a great one.
Thank you for walking through this year with me.
I'll meet you on the other side of midnight.


Carol-Anne said...

It's been a privilege to follow you on this journey. Happy New Year!

Linda Kirkwood said...

Thank you for giving me my "word" for 2014. I was quasi watching an extension of the Today Show yesterday while doing other things. I caught the end of what he was saying and that was ...choose a word that will define your 2014, a word that will guide you in all that you do and all that you fail to do. I thought about that and no one word came to mind. Now, I have my word: STRENGTH. Thank you! I'm looking forward to reading your blog in 2014 and finding my STRENGTH. Love to you.