This has been quite the year. I’ve never experienced losing so many friends as I have this year. I’d attempt to list them all, but I’m afraid I might forget someone. The last time I counted, it was 8. Since then, I’ve lost 2-3 more. Yeah, it’s been about one a month this year.
My faith in God has been what has kept me thinking positive regarding their deaths. I know this life is just a small point of time within our existence. Each of those who have moved on still live. And, no, I do not mean they live in our memories; that’s obvious. They also live in another realm hidden to us. They will some day rise from the dead as resurrected beings – never to die again.
All of this has made me more conscious of my own mortality. I try each day to live as though I may not have tomorrow. I also try to live in such a way not to speed the process. God will bring us home when he’s ready for us to return.
It has been a milestone year for me too. Of all the birthdays I’ve had in the past, 2011 marks probably the most monumental mile stone. It is the year I turned 55.
Why is 55 important?
A tax accountant can tell you, but I will too. If you’ve put in at least 20 years in a job, and you are over 55, you can retire without tax penalties.
2011 has also been a dramatic year when it comes to world events and politics. These are scary times. Recent news reports say that in the U.S.A., 48% of the people are on welfare. Several cities experienced protest where people were demanding entitlements from the government. Yes, in so few short years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, people in THIS country are demanding the government take care of them.
I do not think I’ve ever seen a period of time when so many politicians cannot be trusted. I recall the shock of walking the halls of my high school when someone yelled, “Hey, Agnew resigned!” That was shortly followed by the resignation of Richard Nixon. The irony is I now look back and say to myself that Agnew and Nixon at least had the decency to quit. Now, nearly 40 years later, I find myself saying, “Those were the good ol’ days.”
On a brighter note, 2011 has been the busiest year I’ve ever had – professionally and personally. Working hard has always felt good. If you’ve been following my blog you know I like shoveling snow because I like that you can see the results of your hard work right away. Well, 2011 started off with a lot of snow shoveling, but Elizabethe and I also canned a lot of food from our garden, worked a lot on the house, and we both feel a great deal of accomplishment.
I guess 20 years from now I’ll look back on 2011 and remember all those dear friends who left this life. It won’t be with sadness, but fondness that I knew such wonderful people.
May 2012 be a good year. May each of you turn to God for wisdom before you make important decisions. There will be many before you in this year to come. May we all work together to make the world around us a better place.
Here’s to a bright and prosperous 2012.