Comforting Words: As We Close This Chapter

Sunday, December 11, 2005

As We Close This Chapter


My first post to Comforting Words blog was on December 29, 2004 and in it I recalled how nervous I was on my first blind date (and last), that also took place in the month of December.

It was the same sense of nervousness I had when I started Comforting Words, introducing myself to people I might never meet outside of cyberspace almost one year ago.

It has been a wonderful year, hosting and writing for Comforting Words, meeting some of you in person, reacquainting myself with old contacts and talking with others of you on the telephone fairly frequently.

As it was then, so it remains, my reason that is for hosting and writing Comforting Words. Back in December 204, I wrote:
"Long past the age of thinking that I could live up to anyone's expectation, my hope is that through this blog you will have a place where you will receive and share words of comfort with those in need. There is a special place in my heart for women and those who mainstream society regard as "those people" -- people who like me have been hurt by the callous remarks of blind dates and others who are intolerant of differences."

Over these past twelve months, I have received from and shared words of comfort with many of you. We have told intimate stories about our live's journey, I in particular. Some of you have shared bits and pieces of your own story with me privately and I thank you for the honour you bestowed on me in doing so.

Particularly, I would like to thank my woman-friend, Sonya, for contributing articles for Comforting Words over this year. Girlfriend, although we are thousands of miles apart, you in Australia and I in Canada, the love and friendship that I receive from you is truly a blessing.

In our sharing and in my own reflections, as I write my thoughts here at Comforting Words, I have learnt much. I made commitments to myself, not New Year's resolutions, when I started this blog:
"This year, I am taking a different approach. No promises, no resolutions have I made. This year I will take life as it comes and roll with the punches. What I hope to achieve by December 31, 2005 is that I would have lived an authentic year - being and doing the best of me. At the end of the year, I will take an inventory of the cupboard of promises that I have been consciously filling for over 20 years now. Something tells me that I will be in for a surprise."

Together we watched the news unfold during this year, we saw how life changes and in many ways remained constant. The heroes of the tsunami-like events, the continuing struggle of ordinary women like you and I for respect and full human dignity, the stigma of 'ageism' that women of a certain maturity experience, the challenge of parenting and the daily discrimination and abuse of those who are different were some of the topics we discussed during this year.

What have I learnt from this? That is what I intend to share with you in a series I am calling, Christmas Reflections. Each day for twelve days, beginning Monday, December 12, 2005, through my Christmas Reflections I will offer some food for thought arising out of my hosting and writing Comforting Words.

The conversations we had, either via emails or telephone, as you read or listened to my posts or talked with me in the InComfort Discussion Forum, was rich fodder for my learning. Leading right up to Christmas day, I will lay the banquet table, so to speak, with these insights (food for thought) that I received.

I offer this spread for your feasting -- take what you will as you go into Christmas Day; use what you can as you reflect on the real meaning of the season and as you think about your own commitments for 2006.

It was a privilege being able to journey with you, one that I hope we will continue well into the New Year – with some changes and developments of course, as life never remains static.

By the way, the last recipient of a Comforting Words Surprise for 2005 is a dear and gentle man who I met here in Edmonton and who has been a quiet presence in our lives. D my dear, we will more than likely see you over the season to deliver your gift.

Blessings to all,

Claudette

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