Monday, December 31, 2007

So Much To Be Thankful For

As we close out the year, I have to say this has been Jack’s best year EVER! It’s the first year he hasn’t stepped foot (or wheelchair) inside a hospital. Part of the reason we avoided the hospital this year is because we chose not to return to St. Louis Children's Hospital for Jack’s annual checkups – which always involves multiple appointments at the hospital and at least one procedure in Same Day Surgery. Add to that the fact that Jack has been amazingly healthy and, the end result is a fantastic year for all of us. When Jack has a good year, we all have a good year.

This year I had the good fortune of spending a few days in Las Vegas with my fellow sorority sisters – women who “live the life” and who I count among my best friends. I also made my first trip to New Jersey/New York for my sister’s graduation from Columbia University. Lastly, we took our first family vacation together since before Eric was born and spent five wonderful days in San Diego. It was so refreshing to travel for fun this year instead of for doctors’ appointments. And what better way to finish the year than with Jack’s room makeover and the joy it has brought him. While the year was not completely without sadness due to my mom’s brain cancer diagnosis - my mom has thrown the statistics out the window and is still with us with no tumor recurrence. That is truly remarkable!

Last January, I shared with you the following:

So, I begin the New Year still somewhat lost, but with the resolve to let go of the need to always have a plan … to allow myself to simply enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination. I resolve to live life, not merely exist. I resolve to look at the view.

I end this year not lost, but refreshed and uplifted. I desperately needed a good year for Jack and I am so thankful to have received it. It’s amazing what good health and staying away from doctors will do for one’s mental well being. I didn’t merely get through this last year – I enjoyed it and I soaked in the view. I feel prepared to tackle whatever 2008 brings (not that I'm asking for any challenges).

I am thankful for so much this year – for Jack's good health, the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and the gift of some very special people who gave Jack the room of a lifetime. So ……… you know me and how much I love to create montages :-) If you can stand to watch another one, I share with you all that I have to be thankful for this last year:




julie worthington said...

Oh Ann, such lovely thoughts to close the year, and the montage is beautiful (I needed the tissues - AGAIN! you need to write a warning notice before you show these lol).
From our house to yours - here's wishing you a joyful new year - and no hospital visits again!

Love Julie, John, Jonathan, James and Sam xxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Another great video. Thanks for sharing! I hope your 2008 is even better!
Kristy and Nathan

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Video and Beautiful Family! Happy New Year...we love you guys!

Pat and Chuck

Cindy said...

Happy New Year Ann and many more!

Melisande said...

Happy New Year, Ann, Jack and the rest of the Schrooten clan!!

Anonymous said...

I don't blame you one bit for not stepping foot back in Children's Hospital. I literally got sick just driving past it on the highway the other day. After having spent like you many birthdays, thanksgivings and mother and fathers days there over the past four years, I would not go back unless I was dragged kicking and screaming. Good for Jack! I am proud of you, keep your chin up. Never let yourself get down, enjoy every moment!! It was nice looking at the pictures of you with your sister and friends. I know you will have another great year to look forward to hopefully with more great travel adventures. And mom, you are a beautiful special woman! You exemplify in my mind everything a woman should be. Tough and caring at the same time. I also wish you a wonderful 2008!!!!!....sean demello