Life’s Gifts

Christmas is one of my most favorite holidays; I even love it more than my birthday. Not because of presents, or cookies, or great store deals. I love it for reasons that are far from hot chocolate and peppermint candy canes.

During the holidays, I feel especially blessed. I find myself asking, How did I ever get so lucky? Maybe you think I am crazy (it’s okay, I think the same thing sometimes too,) because how can you ever feel lucky when your whole life is a battle? Well I’ll tell you why…

In life you are going to meet two kinds of people: There are the ones that spend their lives chasing after the next promotion, and will never be able to give you an answer as to what they are chasing after. Then there are the ones who know about taking chances and forgiving those who did them wrong – they have learned the lessons of life, and do not take anything for granted. They know about doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. Their character is rare in the simplest form.   From them, you will learn everything worth knowing. These are the individuals who will show you all that you are, and not all that you aren’t.

Family and friends are pretty amazing. They always know how to brighten my day, even when they are hundreds of kilometers away. They add a little sparkle to my life. A million words wouldn’t be enough to describe how grateful I am to have them. How much love and respect I feel in my heart. These are the individuals who inspire me and lighten my load. Something money could never buy.

Years ago – while I was too busy jumping through the sprinkler, or running after the ice cream truck – I never thought about the importance of great friends and family. That’s just the thing though; you don’t appreciate your health until it’s taken away, and you don’t appreciate the ones you love until they are gone. I never thought about how important friends and family where until I needed them the most.

My life changed, and things were unfolding out of my hands. One moment I was walking through the sunshine, feeling the warm breeze around me, then I blinked and it suddenly became a blizzard. My world had torn in half. I knew I had to fight through it, and I was all alone. My biggest fear was not if I would ever survive the storm, it was what happened if the storm passed, and left me with nothing?

The ones around me were the ones that made things clear again. It was because of each and every single one of them that the storm got a little easier to handle. I know I am the only one who can fight this battle, nobody can do it for me. But I know I have never been alone through it. There are the ones that have carried me through it. They could not fight it for me, but they have got me back on my feet when my struggles have proven too much to handle. I was wrong about a lot of things, but I was right about one thing – I was right to trust that people come into your life exactly when you need them to. If there is one day, one point in time, where you should reflect on your life, it’s during the holidays. Maybe every day is hard for you, maybe life just doesn’t give you a break – I think we all go through that sometimes. But, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there should be at least one day where you reflect on what you have, and not what you are missing. I hope during the holidays you find joy around the ones you love. I hope everyone has something to eat, and something warm to wear. I hope that day for you is about more. I know I will look around at who is around me and know I couldn’t ever possibly ask for more. Everything you appreciate is right in front of you. Right there. That is what I like to call life’s gifts. That no matter how messy life gets, no matter how many times you stumble, there will the ones that will stay with you through everything. Don’t let them go.

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