It is that time of year when I've been trying to decide what to give friends and family for the holidays when - well - there isn't much monetarily but a wealth emotionally. This year, I decided that the best gift to everyone is to express myself to all of you in the form of a letter:
Dear (fill in the blank with your name here):
I'm not going to lie; this has been a challenging time. It started a year ago last August and it's been nothing but a roller coaster ever since. We've had our ups and downs, but you've always been there for me. You've laughed with me and also shed a few tears. You've been my friend, my companion, my confidant. For that I am truly grateful.
Understanding that love means many things, writing this letter is both easy and extremely difficult. On the surface, I can be glib, funny (at times), sarcastic (most of the time) and serious - at least on occasion. Through it all, you've accepted me as I am. You've allowed me to vent, to cheer, to run the range of emotions that all embody this rather old but complex body and mind. You've let me share my times with you without too much judgment on your part. You've responded privately, and sometimes publicly, to what I've said. You've taken me into your confidence and trusted me to make what are hopefully educated and rational statements about life based on my experiences.
Mostly, you have not judged me too harshly. I appreciate that. After all, I am no different than you, other than the fact that I may be farther down the path that you are now traveling. Like you, I am learning. That is what life - and love - is all about. "It is the journey, not the destination" that brings us together. We all know the final destination. That is the same for us all. It is the adventure, and how we choose to experience it, that is everything. It is our passion, our love, that moves us forward.
So, thank you. Thank you for being there. Thank you for allowing me to be me. Thank you for listening, offering advice, asking questions; laughing, crying, occasionally snickering, but most of all for being my support system. I am nothing without you.
May the holidays and the new year bring you nothing but joy - the same kind of joy you have brought me.
I truly do love you all. Happy Holidays!