So today I thank some of those people. Renee thank you for dropping everything and picking me up off the floor that first day - oh, and for folding laundry with me. Erica and Junior thank you for letting this blubbering mess stay with you, teaching me how to shoot at things and going with me to the cemetery. Janet and Brian thank you for opening your home to me when the stress got too much. It was just what I needed. Thomas you were a rock to your sister, mother and me, and I hope you have remembered that you need taking care of as well. I have enjoyed sharing Audiobooks with you. Judy thank you for accepting me as your daughter and sharing all of your family photos. Lauren, I consider you like another daughter. You are smart, talented and funny and strong. You can do anything you set your mind to do. Don't forget that. Mom, there are no words to describe all you have done. Just know I don't take it for granted. My children Caitlin and James, I love you. Bobby loved spending time with you. You give me the strength to get up everyday. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge Pamela K. You provided me with the resources I needed to manage my grief. I found a new friend in you.
Others who let me open up include Michelle, who showed me the value of aromatherapy; Jamie and Rebecca, although sometimes the loss you experienced somehow seems far more significant than mine at times, you opened your hearts to me. My running crew who pushed me and gave another reason to get out of bed every Saturday morning. The stamina you helped me build provided me with the physical strength I needed to pull myself through this year. Finally, my coworkers who had no clue what they were signing up for when I joined their team. Thank you for a successful year.
When I talk to my friend Miruspeg, the conversation often turns to a book by Ruby Payne called the Framework for Understanding Poverty. According to this book, there are several resources for success beyond financial security. They include:
- Emotional - the person can choose and control emotional responses, especially to negative situations, without engaging in self destructive behavior
- Mental - having the mental ability and acquired skills (reading, writing, and computing) to deal with daily life.
- Spiritual - believing in divine purpose and guidance.
- Physical - having physical health and mobility
- Support Systems - Having friends, family, and backup resources available to access in times of need
- Relationships/ Role Models Having frequent access to adults who are appropriate, nurturing, and who do not engage in self destructive behavior.
- Knowledge of Hidden Rules knowing unspoken cues and habits of a group
When I evaluate my life according to these standards, I find I am truly rich. Thanks again to everyone who has acted as my support system this past year. You truly made a difference.