HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Who knew? I don’t really do resolutions…if there is something that I want to do, need to do, I usually just go ahead and do it. If I can do something without harming someone else, if I can afford it, I see no abiding reason not to do it.
It sounds maudlin to say it, but I have tried to live my life so that if I died tomorrow, I would have no regrets for anything that I had done, nor for anything that I hadn’t done. For the most part, I feel that I have succeeded. For the most part. I know that I have done things, said things, failed to do or say things, that could have made a difference for the better. I fully admit that, but I am not going to beat myself up over it, either. No need.
So, 2016 was a year! (Not to put too fine a point on it…) I turned 76, Mary and I celebrated our 53rd anniversary, and Wendy put up with us for 4 months last summer. It is so cool to have a daughter who is doing so well, who is such a healer, such a good friend to us, who has the ability to help others heal, to make it through their days. She has wonderful friends, she is a wonderful friend, and she is in a mutually supportive, loving relationship.
During the last year, we did a lot of writing for various lung disease support groups. We traveled to Bethesda, MD to participate in the formation of a COPD strategic plan mandated by Congress. We also flew to Newark, NJ to head a focus group and present at the Pulmonary Horizons Annual Conference. Fun few days exploring New York City and reconnecting with good friends and making some new ones! There are some really wonderful, dedicated people involved in the battle for lung disease awareness, and we are proud to call many of them good friends.
By far the highlight of our year was the chance to meet many members of our donor family! Cristina and Wes and the kids, David’s Mom and Dad, Jimae and Bruce, and all of the rest of the wonderful family were so incredibly welcoming to us! Many hugs, some tears, and a lot of memories. We feel that we have a brand new family…
The lung disease community has suffered some losses during the year, we have had too many who received their first diagnosis, and we have had so many who have continued their struggle to maintain a decent quality of life. I strongly suspect that those who resolved a year ago to exercise, to be compliant with their medicine and diets, will have held their own better than those who blew it off, those who simply gave up and sat down.
If I were pressed, I would resolve to exercise most days, to help others through my writing and speaking, to take care of my new lungs and the rest of my aging body, and to have some fun along the way. However, there is little need to make any such promises, ‘cause I will be doing those things anyway, as long as I am able. Mary, in my humble opinion, is the world’s greatest caregiver, Hospice Volunteer, and my fellow writer/speaker, so her only resolution will likely revolve around somehow maintaining the patience to put up with me.
Happy New Year!! We love you.
Uncle Jim & Aunt Mary