So, with the end of the year it’s always natural to think back on the events of the year and particularly about loved ones who have passed. Mike wanted me to mention, in particular, his mother’s first cousins Robert and Helen. You hear people say all the time that so-and-so is the world’s nicest guy, but I want you to know, that the world’s nicest guy was Robert, and now that he has gone the world is diminished because of it. He lived a long life and brought comfort and joy to many. He was certainly a patient and loving husband and father. He was 98 years old when he passed. If Robert was the world’s nicest guy, then Helen was as kind as a person could be. I think she was my mother’s best friend. Helen was renowned as a manager not only of her own affairs but those of the many other people that she came in contact with, particularly her family members. This is a common characteristic of the oldest daughter of a large family which she most certainly was. She was 96 years old when she passed. Mike and Judy loved them both very much, and they will be missed.
On the feline side of things, we lost my cousin Elmo this year. Elmo lived with Amy, who was a devoted guardian. Elmo was a black and white cat with patterns like a Holstein cow. In fact, Judy used to refer to Elmo as Elmoo. If you’re not familiar with the Holstein by name, you have most certainly seen the Holsteins in fast food commercials urging you to eat more chicken, dreadfully spelled in a manner that is supposed to reflect the lack of education of said Holsteins. This is supposed to be amusing. I think it was amusing at first when the ad campaign started many years ago in 1995, but they have certainly milked it for everything it’s worth.
We can’t be the only family that has lost loved ones in the past year. One of the hardest things in life is letting go of people and pets that we love. We also know that the holidays always bring back memories of loved ones we have lost in previous years, sometimes many years ago. Today, for example, is Elvis Presley’s birthday. He was born on January 8, 1935. Most people don’t know that he had a twin who was stillborn. After becoming one of the most important cultural icons of the 20th Century, his life degenerated into overindulgence of various sorts, especially prescription drug use. He died in 1977 at the age of 42. Success and fame overwhelmed him, sad to say. Thankfully, there is no chance of anything like that happening to anyone in our little family.
Today is also the 40th anniversary of Mike’s marriage to Gena, Michelle’s mother. He is in a reflective mood, but seems happy with his life. Gena died in 1977, the same year as Elvis. She had cancer, and actually died of complications of chemotherapy. That hurt Mike terribly, but life goes on, and the Universe provides us with the capacity to heal from our wounds. Judy and Mike have been happily married since 1995. Judy has had the unique capacity to know that Mike is fully involved in his love for her, without needing for his love for Gena to be diminished in any way. We have been most blessed as a family, Michelle included.
It is very cold outside today. We had an ice storm a couple of days ago, and there are still patches of ice on the sidewalks and streets. I don’t know what it is like where you live, but if it is anything like what we have here in Marietta, I advise you to stay indoors and be safe if you are able to do so.
We hope that all of our readers experience nothing but joy in 2017. And if you are sad, we pray for your speedy healing and restoration.