I’ve been thinking a lot about what has happened this past year, and how much life has changed not only for myself, but for others as well. It is amazing how quickly your life can change, for the better or for worse. I’m referring to my brother in-law and his dealing with cancer. Last year this time he had just been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but he has successfully undergone treatment and was given a clean bill of health in the Spring. This scare caused him to take stock of his life; he proposed to his girlfriend, and I now have a new sister in law.

I may have gained a sister in-law, but I also lost someone that I had grown very close to, especially after my mother had died. Auntie’s death in June was unexpected, and it really hit home this holiday season. She had a tradition of baking everyone’s favorite Christmas cookies and distributing platters of them just in time for Christmas. She would start baking just after Thanksgiving, and continue until the last week before Christmas. I had asked if I could have her Pizzelle maker, and a friend of mine tried to help me make them, but they were flops. We had a great time, but they weren’t edible. I later looked for my recipe from Auntie for my favorite cookie, but couldn’t find it. I’m going to ask my cousin if I can go through her cookie recipes because I’m really missing the “Cookie Lady” as Chad would call her.

As the holiday season winds to a close, I am starting to recount the events that have occurred this year, and think of the many people that I’ve re-established relationships with, from relatives to friends. I’ve said before that I believe everything happens for a reason. I think it is also true that good can come from something bad. My cousin is about 15 years older than I, so I hadn’t grown up with her per se. Now I have my chance.

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