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December is by far my favorite month of the year. I love all the festive decorations, the smell of pine trees and Christmas lights. I truly believe that people in general are in a better mood during this month than any other time of the year.
Every year I stop and evaluate the past year - accomplishments, hardships, triumphs and tribulations. For the last month I've been thinking about "stuff", we so happily acquire during our lifetime, "stuff", we think we absolutely need to have on a daily basis, and "stuff" we buy or get because it will temporarily makes us feel good.
Everyone has their own version of their “stuff” - as do my grandparents. Every two weeks or so, I visit them. They live three hours away, and the long commute makes it impossible for me to see them more often then that. For the last two and a half years my grandmother, who I love with all my heart has been suffering with Alzheimer's, living in a nursing home. My mom visits and feeds her twice a day, and because she is in "her own world," her vital signs are great and she can go on living like that for years. I know that my grandma, who was always full of life and full of hope and energy, wouldn't want that kind of life for herself. But, as one man once said "We ask God for an easy life, but what we need to really ask for is an easy death".
Recently, I sat with my grandma trying to sing songs with her, showing her pictures of the kids, once again attempting to "find her,” and just when I thought I got through, her eyes drifted and she was back again to her own safe world. As I sat there looking at her blue eyes that have lost their spark, her hands that no longer wanted to hold me, I couldn't help but cry. My darling grandma, who during the Christmas season decorated her house with all kinds of 'stuff", bought gifts for everyone she knew and strangers she didn't. Now she spends most of her day in bed or in a wheelchair - otherwise known as her "stuff", the only "stuff" that she now needs besides a few simple items of clothing.
As I got into my car with tears streaming down my face I couldn't concentrate on anything besides the "stuff" that we cling to on daily basis. That’s when I knew I wanted to write this blog to remind everyone this holiday season that "stuff" doesn't really matter. What matters is the love we give, the love we get, the family and friends we surround ourselves with, and what we do to make this world a better place. This is the "stuff" that's really matters.
Since I got back, I have given away boxes and boxes of all kinds of things. This holiday season I'm getting rid of "stuff," hopping that it will make someone else smile and cheery until they too realize that we need so little to really be happy.
This Holiday Season I wish you all HEALTH, happiness, love & lots of laughter.