The holidays are over and lately I've been thinking about Mike and how strong of a person he was. Even though he was in pain, he didn't give up. I know he kept a lot from us, his loved ones, and tried to make the most of his life. He was there to support Ann as she earned her LPN, he was there for Tyler, playing with him as best he could, taking him to air shows, and even a trip to Disney World in spring 06, even though he was in so much pain. He made the most of his days, going to family events and participating as much as he could.
He didn't complain too much, although I know emotionally he was having a very hard time. I don't think he was afraid of dying as much as he was leaving his family. I know he has earned his place in heaven and is at peace.
There are days I don't want to go to work, afraid of what I will hear or see will remind me so much of what Mike went through. I know he would want me to help others, to share what I can of my experience to help them through theirs. There have been many incidents where I feel I have been led to a certain person or family, just to help guide them. I know then that Mike is smiling down on me, saying "you can do this, Mom".
So, in 2009, live life to the fullest - live, laugh, love. I know that is what Mike would want for all of us.