Tears are emotions that cannot be understood sometimes. As "Auld Lang Syne" was sang last night, my tears came fast and hard without warning.
For some, New Year's Eve ends in happiness. For others, New Year's Eve ends with tremendous sadness. It is a time to miss people, love on people, ..and to reflect. Reflecting on blessings requires a definition of what a "blessing" is. Blessings for me are not always the good things that happen in my life; blessings quite often are the "bad" events; events that hurt me, scared me, and exhausted me. But of all the types of blessings that are out there, the "bad" and challenging ones are the ones that are my most favorite and cherished of blessings. For it is in these times that I see that it was the Lord's generous and abundant supply of strength that got me through it all.
Flash back to one year ago, New Year's Eve 2017, Dad was in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Barnes Jewish Hospital which is 2 hours from our home. He had bleeding in his brain complicated by the fact that he had underwent a successful liver & kidney transplant in September 2017 for treatment of liver cancer. Through the next 5 months, his body underwent 3 brain surgeries, tremendous weight loss, due to the anti-rejection medications which caused nausea, and his weight plummeted to a mere 110 pounds with only enough strength just to open his eyes and speak a little. With loss of all of his muscle strength, Mom became his full-time caregiver. Caring for Dad at their St. Louis condo required constant care 24 hours-a-day with no break. For Mom, his only, and already- exhausted caretaker, this started one of the hardest journeys of her life. But three weeks later, a much-needed breath of air came to her in the form of an earthly angel named Simon Codero, who through his home health care business, cared for Dad as his own, so that Mom could have precious 2-hour breaks to do errands. Fast forward another 8 months, and enter Jeff Lucas, their caring ballroom teacher, who started dance rehabilitation on Dad and also gave Mom a much needed soul-refresher by ballroom dancing with her.
This past night, New Year's Eve night, we held our 19th Annual New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance held at Capital Ritz Banquet & Dance Center which was built with much Intention by our parents in 1997. The Intention was that the Capital Ritz would serve our city; a place for Community. She is a unique venue where people gather for meetings, seminars, wedding receptions, retirement parties, reunions, dance fitness classes, ballroom classes and social dances.
As midnight drew near last night, Dad withdrew from the happy New Year's Eve party to rest quietly in our private office. We wanted to ring in the New Year as a family, so we all decided to stay at the office with Dad, but Dad did not want us to stay with him. He asked us to go back to the party to be there with all the wonderful people who came to celebrate at the Capital Ritz. So as "Auld Lang Syne" was being sung, Mom, my husband Jack, and I swayed arm-in-arm, and I began to look.. really look... at the beautiful people all around us at the Capital Ritz. They were singing, talking, laughing, giving high-fives, kissing, & hugging...being together. Some of them, like Jeff Lucas and Simon Codero and his family, came from far-away cities, while others just came from a few blocks away. Suddenly and without warning, my tears welled up and overflowed. Every person in that beautiful party was in our lives for a reason...and that was for sure not random.
Life happens in a beautiful way; for what seems random is actually never random.
So, let us live together...for that is why we all can see Tiny Twinkly Lights
As always, Look with Intention