First, I must offer my gratitude to my husband for helping make this blog possible–for his technical knowledge and support, love, and patience in this project. Without him, I could not have even thought of putting this in blog form, to encourage others. I want to give gratitude and love to my son, Paul, for always encouraging me to try something new and enjoy it in the process. I love Paul’s joviality, humor, and love of life. He got that from my father! Smile! My gratitude also goes to my grandmothers for their love and loyalty and spending time with me as my role models and mentors. The memories of time with them will always live in my heart! And to my mother who was always there inspiring me to be the best I can be and to never quit. She was a very strong influence in my life; she taught me well, and I never doubted her love.
I thank countless mentors who encouraged me and taught me about God and life, helping me through very rough times. To my aunts, Elaine and Diane, who took a special interest in me and were always there to listen and encourage (and, I mean always). To my Aunt Barbara for always loving me. She was there, too, inspiring me with recipes that she got from her mother, my grandmother, some Italian recipes and some Jewish recipes. To my Aunt Ruthie who loved me unconditionally and taught me so much about compassion. I am grateful to all the health care practitioners who took a special interest in me and made a way for me to heal. Many of them went above and beyond to help me. I am so grateful!
I also want to thank my brothers, Alan and Lance, who have always been there, never doubting, but always supporting, my efforts. They have always loved me unconditionally. To the countless friends who stood beside me and walked with me through my toughest days with this disease. They prayed for me and encouraged me, often daily. I’ve always had friends like this all my life. When I have had my down days with the longevity of illness, I often recalled a quote from the Christmas movie, It a Wonderful Life with James Stewart and Donna Reed: “A man who has friends isn’t poor.” Not sure if I quoted this exactly, but you get the picture, because it’s true! Friends kept me inspired with hope to go on. With them, I had purpose and meaning. My mother taught me the importance of having friends. She, too, had friends and some who were very close friendships that lasted a lifetime for her. My grandmothers were both very social with a lot of friends and family around them. As I’ve said before, and will say again, I’m so grateful to have had them as role models.