You kinda sucked a little bit. But you also evolved and made me see things differently so thanks for that. I met new people, rekindled old friendships, created new memories, gained self confidence and discovery, changed my outlook on life in some ways, and generally have a greater appreciation for what God has blessed me with. My wish for 2012 is first and foremost, health and happiness for all of my friends and family. 2011 was a challenge for many of them, to say the least. It saddens me to see people struggle, especially those who I care about so much. So I often pray for strength not just for myself but for others as well. I bid you a fond farewell and am hoping for a 2012 filled with smiles.
With that being said, I need to give a shout out to someone special......my cousin Rachel.
Rachel Slick, you kicked 2011's ass.
Rachel has continued to inspire me and reading her blog posts made me take a step back and really think about what is important and where to focus my energy when I was having bad days of my own. I mean, dude... she had a double lung transplant. A DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLANT!!! Do you know anyone who has had this done and told by Hopkins it was probably the best transplant they've ever seen? No. (well, unless you know Rachel, haha). I could go on and on but you should just read the blog, which is written by Rachel and her husband Jonny. Seriously, go read it. I also have to give a shout out to Rachel's sister Mary too. Both are just the sweetest people you'll ever meet. Every year I do the Great Strides walk for them to raise money to try and find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
So anyway, just a few days ago we had our annual family Christmas in Shippensburg, PA and it was the first time I'd seen Rachel since before she had her transplant (which was in February). Rachel told me that some comments I had made to her through their blog and Facebook during her recovery really helped her and I didn't realize to what extent. It made me feel so wonderful to have given any form of encouragement to someone who needed it. It also goes to show you....you can't always tell if someone is having a tough day so don't hold back any kind words you might be thinking! That person might appreciate them more than you think.
Here is a photo of Rachel and I from the family Christmas:
Rachel and Jonny
Group shot although a few couldn't make it that day and are missing :(
Merry Christmas everyone, and here's to a fabulous 2012