I think that we have all been given a gift this holiday season.  Yesterday, like so many of you, I had the honor, really, of watching the funeral of the 41st President of the United States of America.  I was incredibly moved and completely overcome by the power that one man had, not over a country, but over his human heart. He loved and honored those around him with grace and dignity.  I almost wrote that I could barely contain my emotions watching James A. Baker, his long time friend, break down during the ceremony, but that would have been an all out lie, because I didn’t contain myself at all.  It was raw, real, and powerful. This great man’s life was a walking testimony, not because of the powerful people that showed up at his funeral, but because of his ability to serve and love others, while still holding true to his moral fiber and integrity.  That’s no easy feat from where he sat. He had hardships, yet still gave of himself for the greater good. A man to be proud of, a gift to us all.

I was going to let the rest of this year float by without writing anything. I have some deadlines looming in front of me, and truthfully I just wanted to put my nose to the grindstone, finish my checklist, and get on with it, so that I can start a new year.  As I sat here this morning, drinking my coffee, reflecting on the beauty I witnessed yesterday, I realized that my heart is full of love and gratitude for so many beautiful reasons. Sometimes we forget how many we have! I started writing them down. As I did my smile got bigger and bigger.   

I thought about how the former president at 90 jumped out of a plane, dude was living his best life!!!  (Still can’t figure out exactly what that means, but all the cool kids are saying it so it must be true.)  I can safely say that if I ever ‘jump’ out of a plane I got pushed (so there’s that), but I hope at 90 I am still living like he was with a smile plastered on my face!  He clearly loved life and spread it around for the world to see.

I’m getting ready for my second big surgery of the year.  I’ll be fine, but I’ve been bummed (and scared), as it was unexpected.  I, selfishly, want to immerse myself in this month. THIS IS MY MONTH- sorry but I literally claim it.  There is nothing like seeing people light up and finding joy in things they may not otherwise find joy in.  I don’t want to miss ANYTHING, because it’s simply my favorite to see innocence and sweet beauty in others. My people have literally sped up life around me in order to pack in what we normally do all month (lots of traditions with us) into a few short weeks.  (I’ve got good people.) It’s within these gestures and amongst these genuine hearts that I see the meaning of life, and realize that I’m NOT going to miss this season even if I’m on a couch. This is the same theme I saw yesterday in that beautiful celebration of life.  He may have been the most powerful man in the world at one time, but he understood that HIS greatest power was to love. Live, like 41 did, with a grateful heart, giving love and being a good friend. Make people feel like they are your people by making them your people. This season isn’t about pomp and circumstance, it’s about love.  TO LOVE WELL. That’s a gift I’m surrounded with no matter where I am, my favorite gift of all.