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As Christmas was approaching this year, I felt so much pain knowing my dad wouldn't be here with my family and what a void that left. I didn't send out cards, shopping wasn't fun and it was hard to get into the spirit of things. Last Wednesday morning, someone broke into three houses in my nieghborhood and stole purses and wallets, one being my home. When I found my purse a few days later, money was gone and my cell phone but credit cards and misc were left. My "I love you Dad" medal that I gave my father was also gone (guess they thought it was change). I carried this with me everyday since my mom gave it back to me after my dad passed away. I just thanked God that me and my family weren't hurt because we were home asleep when they came into my house (through locked doors). Then the blizzard hit! Mind you I lived in Alaska during my childhood and had my fill of snow then! Both our cars were stuck in the drive and had to have one towed out (with limited funds since I had to cancel credit cards, close bank acct, etc.). Christmas was cancelled with my in-laws since we couldn't get to them Christmas Eve w/road conditions. Christmas Day we got to my mom's and went through the motions. I stayed the night with my mom and started feeling kinda rough that night. By Monday morning, I am at doc's office with full-blown bronchitis that was headed into pneumonia but I caught it in time. By now, I am having a real pity-party for myself and WHY ME? Then it hit me how truly blessed I am.

I have a wonderful, loving family and great friends. I get to wake up each day with a roof over my head and live in the greatest country in the world. My loved ones that are gone will forever live on through me. See, it's our responsibility to see that they're always alive through our voices. I am also lucky that God was watching over my family when my house was broken into and He listens to all my problems and helps me through the tough times.

I am truly blessed with two wonderful sons, 15 and 8 who are going to be great humanitarians! They are very loving, giving children and also very academically blessed. I keep telling you guys my little one wants to be a scientist and find a cure for cancer. So when he keeps mixing things in the house, drags water everywhere and makes messes, I smile and think what a wonderful scientist he will be!

You guys were all so great when my dad was ill and I silently visit for inspiration on down days. Keep up the faith and inspiration for others!

By the way -- if any of you caught the Montel show today, Sylvia (the psychic) was on. She predicted a cure for lung cancer in 2005. Let's hold her to it!

Blessings to everyone for a peaceful and inspirational New Year!

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Dear Kim,

I came here to the board today because I am feeling down and extremely "alone". It's my fault, I could have gone to stay with my daughter in Michigan, but I chose to stay at home and try to get work through my grief. I did go to friends on Christmas day and enjoyed myself too, except when I heard someone being called "Dave" . I so wished it could have been my Dave.

Last night I declined an invitation to our usual New Year outing, I decided to stay home with my dog and my memories, watch TV , eat smoked oysters and drink a toast in "cola-tonic" to my friends and relations. I would have been quite comfortable, watching some of the programs that Dave and I watched together, except that my TV went "on the blink"! I tried the radion and couldn't get a good reception . Goodness, was it quiet in here. I have read ever book in the place and the partying next door did not allow me to sleep ithere, so...I did what I have never done before, I took a sleeping tablet and blotted it all out.

I expect you wonder what I am getting to,.... Well, today I read your post and was reminded again how fortunate I really am. I have a house over my head and I'm warm and dry. I have a very dear family and friends. (The family are not here with me but they do phone regularly.) I am at least well looked after not like these poor people in the areas stricken by the awful Tsunami disaster. I thank the Lord for my blessings and for people like you who help to put things in perspective.

Love and prayers coming your way,


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Kim and Paddy

I was away for the holidays and am trying to catch up. These were two beautiful posts. Thank you so much.

Those of us who are ill so depend on hearing how those of you who have been left here garner the strength to find life's blessings in each day.

You both painted such vivid pictures. I ache for you, having lost my parents, and having lived many years alone. But the one thing that you remind me of is that love never leaves. It may change form, but it is not dependent on anything but the love itself.


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