I dreamed of my mother. She was in Spain walking in the crowd, wandering the city, following the Spanish minstrels as they sang their Christmas song.
2019 was an epic year for me. The very first day, the very first hours, started with the loss of my mother. Her death marked the end of an era and it was the end of many things for me. Only those who have lost a child or a parent can understand that kind of sorrow and grief, it forever leaves an ember burning inside.
Now the year is winding down and we just lost our beloved dog, Lulu. Before she died, she sang, and it was the most beautiful sound. I didn't know dogs could sing, she sounded so different, and I didn't know that she was saying goodbye. She was so much more than a dog, she saw us through sickness and health, and some really difficult times. She also was part of some of the most amazing times of our lives.
So here we are again, looking at a new year. For me, this year has been a time of reflection, a time to look back and analyze the good, the bad, and what needs improvement.
From the top of the Eiffel Tower, I reflected. Peeking through the mosaic architecture of the Alhambra, I reflected. In between tears, I reflected. Could I have done things better? Treated others better? Yes to all and yet this year, I received a priceless gift, peace in knowing that I am loved and that I am enough. That knowing has stayed with me.
I felt it on a noisy, cold, winter night in the town of Seville, Spain as crowds of people brushed by me. Then a choir of men, dressed as minstrels, sang and harmonized about the birth of a child. A hush fell upon the medieval cobble stone streets and we all felt it, the gift of peace and love.
Two days ago I felt it when I heard a beautiful, little dog singing, not realizing she was saying goodbye. I see her following my mother.
This is the gift I wish for you all today, a gift that once found is never lost, the gift of peace. Even in the worst of times if you look deep within, it is there. Know you are loved and you are enough, just the way you are.
Wishing you all the best holiday and "peace on earth, good will to all men."