What a Way to End the Year – Better Things Ahead

Ankylosing SpondylitisNormally I post about current affairs and politics with a touch of personal stuff thrown in from time to time. I was going to post a highlights of the year blog about some of the more important events of the year, both bad and good, but decided to just go with a post of a more personal nature. Partially because health issues caused a lack of time for me to put together what I wanted, but also it’s nice to change pace from time to time. I will get back to the NWO and freedom issues after the first of the new year.

I for one am ready for December to be over! I normally don’t complain much about personal things, but what a horrendous month for me. My Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) has been wide open and for 3 full weeks out of the month and I have been for all intents and purposes out of commission during those periods! First I had a little over 2 weeks of fighting an upper respiratory infection turned to bronchitis, and at the same time had an attack of colitis that turned into an impacted bowel requiring a trip to the ER. A week later, I am barely recovered from that (AS can cause slow recovery times and it sometimes doesn’t take much to set a flare up off), and we take our annual shopping trip in Florida which we make a day of. Well my hips hurt so bad after about 2 hours, Brenda has to finish shopping for me because it is just too painful to walk. We have a nice dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack (Jacksonville Beach), then the ride home, which I sleep most of the drive. I’m not feeling the greatest, but figure some rest will help. Wake up the next day and I either caught a stomach virus or food poisoning! While that is not from the AS, with AS, I either don’t get sick very often or for very long with things like this because my immune system is wide open busy fighting stuff that is not supposed to be fighting or when something does slip by, BAM, it hits VERY hard! Well this hit VERY hard and to top it off, I get to fight a cold…ARGGGHHH!!! AS really is much more than back pain for many people with this genetically acquired auto-immune disease, not all, but many. While I do suffer from an advanced form of it because I went undiagnosed from around age 13 until I was 48 years old, there are others that are in far worse shape than I and thankfully many people with AS only have a milder version of it. Overall, for those with the more aggressive, severe forms of AS, the toll on them and their families can be very rough and it affects much more than the physical aspects of those lives!

Today is the first day I am starting to feel well enough again to enjoy spending time with my family since Friday! I am thankful for that though because Brenda’s birthday is tomorrow (yep, New year’s baby) and Jess has to leave soon for swim conditioning then back to college. We do have plans to deal with this AS and overall health this coming year. No, not a New Year’s resolution, these plans have been in the making for sometime now. I just have to get healthy enough to proceed. More on that as it unfolds and we are praying and confident it will be some very good, positive news as we go forward!

A few things about this year that I need to mention because they were huge for us. We lost a brother-in-law unexpectedly (asthma attack), and a close friend of mine from high school that my wife and I remained close with him and his wife also died unexpectedly (industrial accident) and another close friend that we shared many great times with her and her husband lost her valiant battle with cancer. All this within a month with the latter two passing within 17 hours of each other. These two were also very good friends with each other. We were blessed to know these people and count them as friends and family and miss them AL terribly! I must say we were fortunate enough to go to Ohio to attend one funeral and spend time with our both our friends who lost their spouse as well as others we had not seen in a very long time. We are also blessed to be able to get closer to my sister-in-law and her children and help them through this tragic time.

I would like to close with some positive notes because thankfully this year has had plenty of really great things happen. My wife was offered and took an early retirement from her job and has been home for the holidays. Actually, she will be semi-retired and starts her new job on January 2014. She will be working part-time from home and the company is a very large company with bonuses and benefits. So that is just fantastic all the way around! My daughter has been home for the holidays and we are just so proud of the mature person she has become. She has had a tough time, more than most young adults of her age, and this has has really caused her faith and relationship with God to only grow stronger. She has made some very difficult choices and relied on God to help her stay strong in her choices. They were choices she did not WANT to make and the outcome is not what she had initially hoped for, but has remained strong in her belief and faith that God’s will is best for her and whatever way He allows the situation to go, she is genuinely fine with that! Due to her grades, athletics and overall attitudes and college experience so far she was invited and accepted into a national sorority and given the opportunity to attend a college in New York with a partial scholarship. She does not plan on attending this college, but WOW!

So overall, despite a really bad month that has taken its toll on my family and myself, we are blessed and happy! I have a wife and daughter that love me, support me and take care of me when this AS hits hard. We are a strong, loving, caring family that God has seen through some tough times and will continue to do so. Life is messy, it can be tough, unfair and at times really hard for all of us. Life can also be amazing, wonderful and full of great surprises. All we can do is love our family and friends, be there for each other in the good times and bad and trust better times lie ahead. For us, our faith and trust in God, makes that easier to get through those really tough and hard times. Our faith gives us the hope and assurance for better times and makes it easier to enjoy the great times as well.

However this last year was for you all, I hope this new year brings love, health, peace, contentment and prosperity to you all and hope you all are as blessed as I am with great family and friends! Remember, just because they may not live close to you, does not mean you can’t remain close!

Happy New Year everyone, and may God’s Blessings be upon each of you!

Happy New Year


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