Sunday, January 01, 2006

A New Chapter

The new year is here and as always there is no going back.

"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."

Dickens' words seem appropriate to me in describing this year for us. As Cheryl mentioned below, it has been a year where she and we shifted from recovery into new growth. We walked the kids up a real mountain this summer and did some real camping in the woods. Michael and I went to the Philippines and learned more about my family's history. Gail was getting to know David, as were we, and he was bringing a whole new dimension to her life. And then came the events of this autumn, winter, and the holidays .. Well, I think that Gail's letter to David about his memorial service describe best what and who we collectively lost.


Time and tide wait for no man .. or woman, child, pet, etc. This is a fact yet to be impressed sufficiently on the minds of Melissa, Michael, Madeleine, Megan, and Maribeth. Cheryl has been telling me that while I have been away they have not been paying much attention to their chores and other household rules. They have in fact, been wasting a lot of time and effort. I guess I have some work to do when I get home.

Resolutions? I think Cheryl's list is pretty comprehensive, and I don't have much to add.

We both have bicycles now and riding them more is one way we will be working towards better fitness. We will be walking more too.

Building friendships this coming year is also important to us. One thing that was reinforced to me at David's memorial was that true wealth is found in the relationships we build and the lives we touch. No one on their death-bed ever regrets not having spent more time at the office. They regret not having spent time with their family and friends.

On a related point, I resolve to enjoy my children more. I want to be more encouraging and more involved in developing their characters. They each have incredibly unique personalities, skills, and gifts, and I am looking forward to participating in their growth this year. It has been exciting to see Melissa making the leap to reading and Michael is not far behind. Madeleine is also shifting from being a pre-schooler into a child who is ready to learn. The twins are making leaps and bounds in their ability to communicate.

Cheryl is determined to declutter and to organize. Well. I guess that means I'm in. :-)

Right now, no one quite knows what is going to happen next for Gail (and Hugh). Those of you who pray, please pray that Gail will be able to stay in Pennsylvania to carry out David's will.

Whatever happens, what an amazing year this is going to be.

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