A Time to Count Blessings & Renew Resolutions
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
January 1, 2007

As we enter the New Year we have an opportunity to build on the foundation of last year and our preceding years as well. So often we are so focused on what we want that we fail to celebrate what we have. I hope that whatever you have to celebrate, that you will take time to do so even if it's against the backdrop of challenges.

At least four families I personally know of have been going through the loss of a loved at this time. Some of those who left us were up in years and others were struck with an immediate calling. None were easy to let go of into eternity. My condolences to each of them and to others experiencing a loss at this time.

We have all lost someone at some time and I am in that number. A little over two years ago I lost my wonderful father. When I got the news I was definitely tearful though he had Alzheimers and was 83 years old. He had lived a long, energetic and successful life but was then in an assisted living facility.

Shortly after receiving the news of his death we came to reflect on what he meant to all of us. We knew that going through the funeral would not be easy but reflecting on his life would help ease the pain of his loss. We knew that his many funny and some of his calamitous experiences we shared with him would lighten our thoughts a bit. Knowing that we could not turn back the hand of fate, we sought to elevate our thoughts about not only what he meant but about what made him so special and memorable to us.

We prayed for the repose of his soul and celebrated his life with all its interesting times. But in a more personal sense, I believe that funerals are at least as much for the living as for the deceased. After the primary goal of praying for the loved one and remembering him or her, I like to deliberate on what I'm doing to make my life all it can be.

Life is short and as the years go by at an ever-quickening pace, may we all reflect on our strengths and our challenges. In the New Year, may you realize more than ever before, your aspirations and dreams a little more than before. May the memories of loved ones lost in 2006 remain with you in the highest spiritual sense possible. And, may you and your family cherish the moment of the present and truly be all you can be in 2007!

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