Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best Memory of 2009

Last night, well after midnight, I was sitting with my sister-in-law, JoAnne, and my son Spencer, while the rest of the guys played pool downstairs. We had just spent a wonderful day with my hubby's family celebrating Christmas and we were now winding down and relaxing by the light of the Christmas tree. JoAnne casually posed the question, "So, what was your best memory of 2009?"

JoAnne is a woman that I truly admire. She is a retired school teacher, who has given countless years of her time and talents to the students entrusted to her care, a mother of 3 wonderful young adults and an incredible singer. She has a heart for animals (the stories go way back to childhood), loves to read and seems always ready for an adventure.

She is also a woman who has experienced hardship and difficulties. Shortly after her retirement, she and her husband sold their home in Toronto and moved to a gorgeous rural area to enjoy their retirement years near the beauty of the lakes and trees and wildlife. Within a very short time she was diagnosed with an incurable disease that affects the respiratory system and kidneys. It has left her kidneys irreparably damaged. She now has to be on daily dialysis for the rest of her life, while still battling the disease, although she is hoping for a kidney transplant sometime in the future.

It has been a horrible and painful time for her and her family and yet she has always managed to stay positive. When I could imagine myself curling up and wanting to die, she has lifted her head and said, "So what do we do now?" Always the fighter. Always calmly facing the unknown.

When she asked her question last night, I thought to myself that once again JoAnne is focusing on the positive. She could easily look back and complain. But she chooses to look back and see the good.

Spencer and I thought for a few moments and we actually mentioned the same thing as our best memory - our trip to Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach. It was a time of experiencing new places, lots of laughter (the kind that makes your sides hurt!), sun, relaxation, family. It was fun to reminisce and brought joy to us as we shared our memories.

Most people love to complain. My sister-in-law doesn't. She is grateful for the good times and looks forward to many more. Thank you JoAnne for reminding me to do the same.

So friends, what was your best memory of 2009?


  1. It is clear that you are very proud of your sister-in-law. While I loved my trip to Hawaii in 2009 one of my best memories is of Brianne getting the Governor General's award at her high school grad!

  2. Wow, what an inspiring post. I agree, most of us look back and complain.....I am going to try and change this focus for 2010.

    My best memory of 2009 would be our week at the cottage with our 3 kids and their 3 friends. It was also filled with lots of fun, laughter and memories that will last a life time.

    Glad you enjoyed your Burton Family Christmas.

  3. What an inspiring post - your sister-in-law sounds like an amazing woman!
    My favourite memory of 2009 would be my impromptu trip to Bayfield with the kiddies in Sept. We had a wonderful roadtrip (they actually behaved themselves in the car) and enjoyed the sunshine relaxing on the beach. We made a stop in Grand Bend on the way home because they wanted to see where exactly it is that "Mommy goes scrapbooking".
    Glad you enjoyed your Christmas, and I wish you all the best in this New Year!


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