Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Christmas "Letter"

It has become a tradition for me to recap

our year in the form of an "ABC" letter.

It must be the teacher in me!

I hope you enjoy a look back at 2011 at the

David and Karen Gibson home.

A is for Ann Hopkins, Mandy’s mom. Since we moved to Colorado, Ann and I have shared babysitting for the little Gibson boys on days when Mandy works. Ann kindly took over my duties while I was sick. Thank you Ann-Ma! I’m ready to share again.

B is for boys. Our three grandsons, Caleb, Aaron, and David, kept me upbeat during my recovery.

C is for Cancer. You don’t often see an ugly word like this in a Christmas letter. Cancer was one of my biggest fears. God has clearly demonstrated to me that He is Lord even over our fears.

D is for David. I knew almost 40 years ago when I married this man that he was very special. During this eventful year of 2011, he has stood by me and taken care of me in ways that I, and I’m sure he, never imagined he would need to. I am so thankful he is my husband.

E is for Eastside Church of Christ. The wonderful Christians at our church have fed us, prayed for us, and upheld us during this difficult year.

F is for family. David and I are blessed with family both near and far. We thank God for their love and kindness to us. This year would have been much more difficult without you.

G is for Gibsons—the Jeremy Gibsons. As many of you know, they moved to Colorado first and we moved to be close to them. They have been a constant joy to us but especially so during my sickness. What a help and distraction they have been.

H is for heroes. I had many precious people who walked or ran for me in Races for the Cure. You will never know how much you mean to me.

I is for I-Pad. This might be silly, but that little Apple device has helped me keep my sanity during recovery. I have used it for Bible Study, Games, e-mails, and Facebook. Thanks Sweetie for a special gift/toy/sanity keeper.

J is for July. My side of the family had a reunion here during that month. I had just started chemotherapy and their presence, hugs and love got me started on the right foot.

K is for kindness. We all get so busy that sometimes we forget to stop and be kind to those around us. As someone who has reaped the benefit of great kindness this year, I encourage you to find someone who needs your kindness. You, and they, will be better for it.

L is for letters and cards. I received so many wonderful pieces of correspondence this year during my recovery. It came in the form of snail mail cards, letters, packages and e-mail and FaceBook messages. I cannot begin to tell you how much they meant to me.

M is for medical professionals. We were blessed with some of the most caring and dedicated doctors and nurses imaginable. They cared for me physically but also emotionally. What a blessing!

N is for New Year! I can’t wait to start 2012.

O is for outdoors. When you spend many weeks indoors, you appreciate so much the great beauty that God has created for us. I was so lucky to have a big picture window across from my ever-present easy chair to view God’s handiwork.

P is for Poppy. My sweet daddy passed away last year in December. I have missed him this year, but have a sweet understanding that he is in a far better place.

Q is for quietness. I am looking out my window as I type this letter at a beautiful, silent snowy landscape. We haven’t experienced many white Christmases so each one is a new delight.

R is for Rollett’s. Kelly, Adrian and David moved to Colorado Springs just days before I received my diagnosis. They have been a joy and a help to both David and me.

S is for Southeast Church of Christ. Our Christian family for over 25 years proved that distance doesn’t equal forgetfulness. They covered our family with prayers, cards, and love this year.

T is for time. I am a go-er. I don’t often stop to spend the time to think, relax, and just be. I was forced to slow down this year and although it was hard, it was also good for me.

U is for united. Thank you to our wonderful preacher, Patrick Mead, for teaching us that there is so much more that unites us than divides us. May we be united in our love for God and each other.

V is for vacation. We are ready for a vacation. We’ll keep you posted on where we decide to go.

W is for walking. I learned that a study shows that walking reduces your chances of cancer coming back. I “want” to walk, but am not always good at follow-through. I am asking that some of you who are reading this hold me accountable for being a walker—for my health’s sake.

X is for X-tra. I am extra thankful to be alive!

Y is for YOU! If you are reading this blog, you are most likely a friend or family member. Thank you for your kind comments about my random musings.

Z is for ??????.

I’d like to end this blog post not with the letter Z, but with a hopeful look at 2012. In April my surgeon told me that 2011 would be pretty miserable, but that 2012 would be WONDERFUL! I look forward, with God’s help, to a wonderful 2012. David and I wish you the same!


Gereta said...

Karen, David and the whole Gibson clan, the Semanek clan wishes you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We love you and miss all of you. Hope you can come visit your Houston family soon. Love you lots!

Kim said...

Well said! I love you very much!

Theresa said...

Your Christmas letter was wonderful. I enjoyed all the variety that comes from filling out the entire alphabet. I'm enjoying getting to know you better and look forward to all that 2012 brings. Happy New Year!