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What’s behind? What’s ahead? What’s important?

Can you believe that we’re already in March of 2015?!

For me 2014 was a year of blessings … and stretchings, or what some would describe as anything but blessings.

My blessings:

Dr. Madsen & I were able to purchase a “get a way” in beautiful West Virginia! I finally have found a place where he can wind down and relax … actually separate from work. Don’t misunderstand, work is a blessing, really; but we must work at balancing that with rest and that has always been the challenge for him:) We are thankful for this escape, love sharing it with family and friends, and have resurrected long neglected golf clubs. I enjoy this with him and laughingly acknowledge that I get more exercise in 9 holes than he does … I have to swing more!!

Two of our three children purchased their first homes this last year! What a joy to see them accomplish this and begin to establish their own traditions…which brings me to the changing of the seasons of life…for the first time family Christmas was not at my house with everyone piling in for a few days but at our oldest daughter and son-in-law’s house (yes, that’s Dr. Benner).  I didn’t mind this at all although it was a major change; after all they carried the joy/challenge of food for all and clean up, remember I’m not really a “cook”:) We have our own bedroom/on-suite there…who could complain! I have always chosen to celebrate the new seasons rather then mourn the passing of the old ones.

We enjoyed a visit from our “kids” in Mexico. Abelardo (Payo) Martinez is an aspiring young doctor in his 4th year of med school. We love that they are a part of our family, love spending time with them, and yes, on my bucket list is my goal to some day speak fluent Spanish with them rather then the “Spanglish” I now speak and they amazingly understand1 😉 lol

My “stretchings”:

I had the joy and privilege to share a significant event in my Aunt Rolli’s life actually just a few weeks ago in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the department chair at Yale University in the Spanish and Portugese Language Department and her accomplishments were recognized by the Modern Language Association with a life time achievement award. For a Iowa farm girl not native to the Spanish language, quite an achievement! So why mention that?  It brings us to one of the stretching events of 2014…my father’s diagnosis of Large B cell lymphoma. At 83 it was a daunting thing and we set our sites on sharing his baby sister’s achievement together in Vancouver.  I’m pleased to say that we were blessed to do this and we are forever grateful! Many of you shared your experiences about this illness with me and encouraged me as I walked thru it with Dad…thank you!!

Definitely the most difficult experience of 2014 was the loss of a dear friend and former employee, Bonnie Russell R.N., at our medical office to cancer. She fought with strength, hope, faith, and dignity for 11 years and although she is lost to us, she has finished her race and won her prize in eternity.  A blessing not only to me and Dr. Madsen but to all our patients at Madsen Medical.  Yes, we still mourn her passing and pray for strength and comfort for her husband and family but we also celebrate the part she had in our lives and the fact that we will see her again!

We must always remember when we mourn a loss we know we have experienced a blessing…or there would be no mourning. To those of you who have endured similar things this last year we pray you embrace the blessing.

So, what’s ahead for 2015?  There will be more stretchings, no doubt, but also more blessings!! Embrace them!  We hope to share them with you!! Remember…yes, we’re all getting older, but we’re being blessed with more years!!  Blessings from the Madsens !!

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