Monday, December 31, 2012

Year-End Thoughts (Part 1)

Dear 2012,

I still can't put a finger on how I feel about you. It would be so easy to say I HATE YOU for all the challenges my family and I faced this year. 

Daddy passed away without warning in May
3 months later, I was in my doctor's clinic and told I have breast cancer

For anyone else who has gone through painful and major life changes this year, hatred the easiest thing to feel for the year that's about to leave us. I tell you, I am not alone in this. I can name a few people in my network who will tell me they've had it with this year, too. 

A friend lost her Mom and husband in a span of weeks

A cousin lost her father in November and brother on Christmas Day

Another friend lost her brother and was diagnosed with breast cancer months after

4 teenage boys (2 of whom are siblings), the best friends of the son of one of my girl best friends, were killed in that awful car accident in Ayala Alabang 

A young man passed away in another car accident in Valle Verde, the nephew of a friend

Seriously, I can name more.

WHAT THE HELL, 2012?!?!?!

Did you have a bone to pick with any of us? Why? What for? In my mind, you're like this kid bully in school, who is so miserable, he has to make other people miserable, too. 

But you're lucky, I'm old enough to not dwell too much on the bad. So I'll cut you some slack. 

In church yesterday, this line stood out : FINISH WELL. I guess that was the theme of the sermon because it was the last Sunday of 2012, the last worship day for everyone. The year is about to end and it's now time to look back, review, re-assess then end the year right. Many of us believe that we should never usher in a new year with pessimistic eyes. It's like being grumpy and whiny on a Monday. They say your whole week will be bad if your Monday starts out this way. 

It's really a choice one needs to make. Do I want to say goodbye to 2012 with a heavy heart and welcome 2013 with the same? Or do I want to do this...


Lost my Dad
Diagnosed with breast cancer (and experienced every other difficulty that goes with it)


My family is much stronger and we are even closer after Daddy left us

I now have someone very dear to me who intercedes for me up there

Real friends - we now know who they are

My cancer is early stage

My lymph nodes are not compromised

My HER2 test came out negative, meaning my cancer was not the aggressive kind

My first ever bone scan turned out to be negative of any metastasis 

I recovered beautifully from the major surgeries I've had to undergo

I've not suffered the nasty side effects of chemotherapy

The Lord introduced me to wonderful, compassionate and intelligent doctors

The Lord brought people into my life to provide support, wisdom, guidance and friendship!

My doctors introduced me to new friends ... all of whom are breast cancer warriors like myself, and from whom I continue to learn about faith, strength and positivity

I've experienced an outpouring of love and concern from family, relatives, friends, even those I've never even met before - so overwhelming that it reduces me to tears each time!

I've seen and experienced kindness and a genuine desire to help, coming from all directions, like I've never seen before 

MORE IMPORTANTLY, here are the things I've learned, re-learned and gained this year:

Praying from the heart (yes, I thought I knew how to do this already)
That gratitude heals - I promise you it does!
A deeper love for life and everyone around me
A deeper understanding of God's love for all of us

I'm crying as I try to end this entry. Mainly because I still don't know if I should hate or love you, 2012. I gave you the credit you deserve, so I guess you're not that bad. Nonetheless, I can't wait to say goodbye to you tonight. 

I'll never ever forget you, that's for sure. But I know that soon enough, and because 2013 will be AWESOME, I'll look back at you and say

Thanks for giving me all that crap because it's making me appreciate all the amazing things I have today!!! 

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