The New Year is here for all of us – and tonight I am spending some time reflecting back on last year, and looking forward to what will come next.

The”funny” part about today is that it truly has multiple meanings for our family. Of course it is the new year, and we all plan to make things new, better, different and exciting. The kids stayed up late to watch the ball drop, and today thoughts turned to the end of Christmas break, and returning to the real world of soccer, school and homework.

Five years ago, the holiday weekend was just like this one – an extra day off before returning to school and work, a day that was expected to be relaxing and fun. It didn’t happen that way.

Instead, tonight, right after midnight, will be the five year anniversary of Frank’s crash. Five years.
It feels like forever and a flash at the same time – it feels like yesterday, and a lifetime ago. After the last year with such a huge focus on my own health, I feel that I have been given a glimpse into the world of what a fighter Frank was while he worked to recover from his brain injury.

Although I was with him every day, being on the other side of a life and death battle is very different – and it changes your perception of everything around you. You see every day differently; moments are cherished, recognized, understood and lived. If you choose, peace can reign, when living without fear of the future, and knowing that life will carry you where you belong.

I believed it 100% when Frank got hurt, and I believe it again now while fighting to recover from breast cancer.

I was privileged to witness a man fight for his life, and I would expect nothing less from myself at this point. It is a choice to do everything that I can to fight back, and fighting back is what I am doing.
Tonight, at dinner, the boys, Frank and I talked about what happened five years ago. The boys reflected back about that morning when they woke up and I was not home.

They asked new questions – who knew first? How did I get to the hospital? Did I beat the helicopter to the hospital?
It was interesting to see them reflect back, and to ask Dad questions.
It was also interesting for them to connect how hard this past year has been as well, and to see the resilience in them as they asked what month I told them about my cancer, and that it seems like the year has gone fast.
I wish they did not have to be so resilient all the time.

We welcome 2017 and whatever it holds for us. I know, and hold on to the fact that we can, and will, focus on what is important, and do our best to look forward into our lives.
It can be done, regardless of what else comes into our lives.
We have lived looking forward, not back, for five years.
And we won’t stop now.
Happy New Year everyone – tonight I say my thankful prayer that Frank lived.
Happy Alive Day to Frank Mackall – we are here to be the rock for one another.

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