I've always thought that we should give our tributes while people are still alive, rather than as a eulogy. So, leading up to yesterday for the last couple of weeks, I thought about each person who was going to be here, and what I might like to say to them. And since it was our house and our dinner table, they all had to sit and listen! I have discovered in my life that one of the greatest joys is getting the opportunity to tell people how you feel about them, or that they've had a significant impact on your life. Have you ever had something that you really wanted to tell someone, but never got the chance? It's a terrible thing to leave blessings ungiven, both to the giver and the receiver. So while I took the opportunity yesterday to tell each person there what they mean to me, and I hope it was meaningful for each of them, I believe that it was even more meaningful for me.
As I told our guests yesterday, in the last few months since all of this has come down, somehow, I feel more alive. Colors seem brighter, life tastes sweeter, and I feel like I'm walking on air a lot of the time. I've become very aware of an obvious fact that I should have known all along, that what's really important are the people in my life. So if I stop you to tell you exactly what you've meant to me, don't think you're gonna squirm out of it. You will sit still while I tell you how much I love you. Got it?
We had both old and new friends here yesterday. including one young couple, Derek and Amber, that Sharon and I met last April, and have become very good friends with this year. They told me last night that they think I look better now than I did when we met. Better coloring, they said. When we met last April, they said I seemed more tired, and not as happy as I am now. I told them there's a simple reason for that. I am happier now. I'm in a much better place now than I was last April. Not in spite of the cancer, but because of it. It's inexplicable, but there it is. I can honestly say that cancer is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. At least so far. In a few years, I might be singing a different tune. If I can still sing, that is.
I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours. If your house was as full of love as ours was, you've won't ever forget this Thanksgiving. I know I won't.
In the picture, back row from left to right: Me, Sharon, Nancy, Brent, Steve, Sam, Derek. In the front from left to right, Candice holding Maxine, Amber holding Gloria.