It’s a new year, 2018. The entry of a new year into our lives means much to some and little to others. I count myself in the former category. This year, God’s will, I’ll see my sixty-eighth year of life, not counting the nine months before being introduced to the world. You might say there are many who’ll be experiencing what I’m looking forward to, so what. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you’ll know that I’m living against odds that would have been stacked firmly against me twenty-five years or so ago. I’m living with Multiple Myeloma, and I’ve been doing so for eighteen years, come this March 12. I’ve seen many patients, who were diagnosed around the same time as I, die from this retched cancer, but God in His, boundless grace has seen fit to keep me here. I’ve had many tell me that there’s a reason I’m still here. I haven’t any argument against that proclamation; however, I’m not spiritually attuned enough to know the many reasons I’m still here. I simply thank God that I am.
I often find myself thinking about my children, my wife (Chris), my mother and all my other family members, and how blessed I’ve been to see them over the last seventeen years. My wife, bless her heart, has told me on more than one occasion that I’m probably to stubborn to simply lie down and allow Myeloma to take me out. (These are not her words, but I think the paraphrasing is reflective of her sentiment.) I certainly give credit to God for my still being here. Part of that credit is attributed to experiencing the love He’s shown by putting family and friends in my life. I’m confident that the prayers, probably in the high hundreds, if not thousands, that have been sent up from many, have been answered. How do I know that they’ve been answered? I’m still here.
For the last twenty years or so, I’ve experienced a hopeful feeling at Christmas time. I’m always grateful to see another Christmas, but I find myself praying that I’ll see the upcoming new year. There’s no reason that I can clearly express why I have this feeling; it’s just there in my head. Then, when I wake up on January 1, there’s a calmness about me, knowing I’ve made it to see another year. I make no resolutions for the new year. I’m just glad to see it.
This is going to be a particularly eventful new year. It will start off in February with my wife and I going to Monaco and Southern Spain. This trip is due to the generosity of my oldest child, Felicia. She called me a few months ago and wanted to know if we would be interested in taking the trip with her. You’re probably asking yourself at this point why she would have to ask me such a question, considering where the trip is planned. I think Felicia knows her dad well. I’m a home body for the most part. I have nothing against travel. I’m just not that motivated to do it. This, however, is something that I’m really looking forward to. I even plan to pack as if I were Rick Steve the travel show guy, strategically putting enough clothing and personal supplies for ten days in a carry-on and a day bag. I don’t want to be hampered with too much stuff and costly bag-checking fees. Chris is looking forward to it also.
Yes, I don’t take new years for granted. I’m going to see fewer of them, God’s will, then I’ve lived thus far. This one is starting off on a good note.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.