I find that I do more soul searching around this time each year. This year is no different.
A significant event has occurred recently. One of our family elders has passed away. Cousin Toni, as I called her, was 90 years old when she joined our ancestors. She wanted to reach 100 but God decided to bring her home before that time. It's amazing that she lived to be 90. Last year my great aunt died at 99. I had another great aunt die in her 90s as well as another cousin. Wow, what long-living women are in my family! I wonder if I have been blessed with this gene? Back to Cousin Toni, she was smart, strong, optimistic, and a great steward of her gifts. There was so much I never knew about her but I'm so blessed that I did get to know her a little bit before she moved on. What a wonderful life she lived.
We will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary this year. Wow! Who would've thought we'd be married for 15 years? We started out as apples and oranges. We're probably still apples and oranges but we've learned to accept our differences and blend together nicely. One thing's for sure, marriage is a TON of work but oh, so worth it when you have a wonderful husband like mine. Hubby is such a wonderful man, father, and husband. I'm blessed to have him in my life. On a side note, Cousin Toni really liked hubby. She told me often that I had a "good man".
Before too long I'll be celebrating my 50 year mark. I remember when my dad turned 50 years old. I got such a kick out of asking him how it felt to be a half century old. Now look, I'm right around the corner from that milestone myself. I'm thankful that I've gotten this far. There aren't many weeks that go by that I don't thank the Lord for allowing me to see another day ever since I went through my near death experiences several years ago. It's unfortunate that I had to go through those times before I learn to focus on what was truly important in my life. Day-by-day I've learn to let go here and there. I remind my family of how much I love them every day. I tell them I'm blessed to have them in my life. When my children tease me about how old I am or my graying hair my response is, "At least I'm here, alive, and healthy. I'm happy the way I am." I just hope they learn to be happy with themselves just the way they are too. Popular culture is too focused on superficial beauty and materialistic gains. I want my children to know that God made them perfect just the way they are. God made them with a special purpose in mind and it's up to them to find that spot in life for them to fulfill. I believe that once we are fulfilling our purpose we will truly know bliss. Never mind that "Madison Avenue" hype that is fed to us about what happiness should be. Our happiness is within and has been placed there my the Almighty. Our mission is to seek it out and follow our path. Sometimes, it's a life-long journey that'll require course corrections and re-focusing many times along the way. I know. I'm traveling it and have gotten lost in the woods. I've fell into the abyss and wallowed in darkness. But, my traveling companions have made my journey interesting, fun, and worthwhile. I want to thank all of my wonderful friends and family for being there along the way.