Saturday, December 29, 2007

What a legacy...

Legacy = anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.

This week a colleague left a legacy that none will soon to forget. My friend Ann has been battling cancer for the past year or so. And on a sparkling Christmas Eve she lost that battle.... but is no longer in pain. A nice, nice email was sent out by the CEO of our company ... and I'd like to share some of his words as they were very inspirational in my life.

"Over these past months I have regularly been asking Ann for lessons she has learned along this journey. I can't imagine more valuable information about life than from someone facing the end of it. Here are some of the things she has shared with me:

Relationships matter, particularly when not just based on surface interactions. Take more risks to develop more meaningful relationships in your life.

Decide what your purpose is in life and keep that in focus.

Do good and important work but enjoy the beauty along the way.

You can choose to be miserable for the rest of your life, or you can choose to not be miserable. She chose to not be miserable, nor to feel victimized, even in the most arduous of circumstances.

Treat your body with respect.

Never allow who you are to get washed away in the rain of life.

For me, the greatest gift of learning she offered me is well-captured in a famous quote by the Roman poet, Horace, "Seize the day, put no trust in the 'morrow". She would fully encourage all of us to fully embrace each moment, as the present moment is precious and the only guarantee we are given."

As most of you know, even my license plate spreads the word reminding everyone to Seize the Day - even the motto for my photography business focuses on this mantra. And while most people feel this is simply cliche... it's a way of life. And for my friend Ann, it was a huge part of some of her final thoughts. Great inspiration... and an even more powerful legacy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

It's a bit of a different Christmas this year. It's my first Christmas ever without a pine Christmas tree!!!! Don't all gasp at once... I'm still getting used to it myself. We figured since we already had a tree in the corner of the room, and since we wouldn't be having anyone to our house for the holidays... that the two of us would find a way to instead enjoy our Christmas Ficus!
So I pulled out some silk flowers, some small bulb ornaments, a strand of lights and got busy making the ficus look a little festive. All of the rest of the familiar sights and sounds abound... just no fresh pine scent. That's ok... we're ok, really. In fact, I'm going to share with you the message we put into our Christmas cards this year just to prove it to you!
Dear Friends and Family -

I wish a hand written letter was in the mail to each of you but life … well you know, it just goes so fast. And another year is almost behind us. I (Lori) want to share you with what seems to be the recurring them of our lives this year. We feel ever so grateful … warm inside… for all that our lives behold. Don’t mind the introspective attitude – I get this way this time of year. It’s a rainy day outside and my heart is overwhelmed. So I wanted to share with you some of our thoughts from this past year …

Together Lee and I had the opportunity to visit the Haraldsen (my dad’s) side of the family in Oregon for a much-needed vacation. This was our first vacation together since our honeymoon - it’s been 4 years of marriage for us now. As we had several occasions to sit around the table together (all 11 of us) the thoughts were spoken aloud that we were all so grateful to be together. With our family now spread across four different states it makes it difficult for us all to be together at one time. These were cherished moments!

So Cal experienced another scary round of Wildfires in the Fall - Lee and I were reminded of how much we have to be grateful for. The fires came within just a few miles of our house, which was daunting – but we still had a house when the fires were extinguished.

In November Lee and I shared Thanksgiving with the Marshek (my mom’s) side of the family. And the feelings were mutual around the patio table as we indulged on all the festivities (and way too much pie) – together we acknowledged that we have so much to be grateful for. Despite any sicknesses or injuries, trials or tribulations, in laughter and/or solitude – we are a blessed people! I mean, we WERE eating Thanksgiving dinner OUTSIDE! And laughing!

So I leave you with our annual Christmas card to tape to the back of your front door or hang from some garland – but take our thoughts with you through this season. We are grateful for you in our lives!

- Lee and Lori


All images are © Lori Tisdale, 1990-2011 unless otherwise noted. Images are posted for your personal inspiration only and may not be copied/pasted into emails to share with anyone else, posted on other sites, copied for publications, contest submissions, or monetary gain. I'd have to track you down and who knows what would happen then?! Thank you for being considerate.