By: Guest Contributor H. Muhammad
As 2014 powers ahead, we give thanks for that which is more important than politics. We give thanks for the taking care of and remembrance of the people whom we care about the most. It is after all, the people beside us – helping along the way, picking us up when we fall, and continually sharing their light, that totals the sweet days and years of our lives. I’m sure we all have seen (and more importantly felt) stellar examples within our own lives, in our own circle of family and friends.
Examples that caught the nation’s eye include the incredible team members of Olympic swimmer Diana Nyad, who were there for every second of her incredible record-setting swim from Cuba to Florida.
Another example was found in Hannah Brencher who reached for the light inside herself, to shine light on others. Facing her own depression, she found comfort in writing letters of love to strangers. Shortly thereafter, she founded, More Love Letters, an organizations that now supplies letters of love and encouragement to people in places as far away as Fiji and as near as her own community. Folks requesting letters include cancer patients and survivors, athletes, soldiers, the young and old. Who couldn’t use a love letter today? I sure could.
And finally, there was Todd Swelling, 75 years young, and married to the woman of his dreams for 57 years and counting. This year, Todd decided to follow that little voice inside that told him to “do something,” so he did. Clothed by a sandwich board that read, “Need Kidney 4 Wife”, he walked 250 miles and made international news in the process of trying the only way he knew, to promote his wife’s search for a suitable kidney donor.
Like we said, it is those beside us – helping along the way, picking us up when we fall, and continually sharing their light, that totals the sweet days and years of our lives. And to those who have lost loved one this year, you are indeed in our thoughts and prayers.
May we all have a sweet 2014, filled with love, grace and the company of those who share their light.
-In loving memory of Rita Estell
August 18, 1960 to December 29, 2013