Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Blessings to All!

It's been awhile but I've been busy! You can read about it below.

Christmas Blessings to All!

I am grateful for 2011, a year that opened up new friendships and possibilities. I led a 5 part workshop on late life spirituality at Mariandale in the Spring, began training to become a docent at the NY Botanical Gardens in the Fall and have been volunteering there as well. The Spiritual Heart contemplative formation program began in February; we've had 3 weekend retreats and monthly small groups. I feel blessed to have found even more companions on the journey.

When my good friend Sister Noreen retired from her ministry at our parish in April, she invited me to lead the senior spirituality group she started. What an awesome gift this group has been to me! One of my Met Club friends introduced me to the Dobbs Ferry Women's Club and I am now a member, enjoying the monthly book discussions and other activities. Sadly, we lost a dear friend Terry, who was in our monthly Met Club circle of ex-Catholic Charities colleagues. Terry was also in my spirituality workshop and will be missed dearly.

Great news! My daughter Tina published her first book of comic strips and comments on homeschooling. Tina has had a blog for years and we are delighted to have her wise and witty art in old fashioned book form. You can get it on Amazon – No School Today? by Cristina Ramos-Payne. Marina continues to do well – honors – at college. Sierra's blog contains her unique 9 year old perspective on life – it's even generated a bit of controversy. Chase improves steadily on his acoustic guitar and learned Happy Birthday as a surprise for my 70th.

The year did have its share of losses. Aunt Grace and Uncle Steve, my Dad's brother, passed away this year. My cousin Cindy died in June after a long illness. Cindy was such a dynamic person and left behind quite a legacy. We visited our cousins in Pennsylvania in May and again last month when Lisa and family came for a visit to New York. I also got to spend some time with them this summer. It's always a treat to be in California. I even got to join in an old fashioned 4th of July parade with Jackson and Aidan!

My son Angel, Sylvia and Sam have all moved to their new home in Pittsburgh; I miss them and look forward to seeing them early next year. I see my sister Kathy often, though she is busy with her new grandbaby Hope, born June 2nd. We love seeing Hope and hearing her sweet laughter, along with her big brothers Braden and Dylan. Angel's nieces Guli, Damaris and Carolina visited from Puerto Rico – on the hottest day of the year!

I resigned from my part time job at the NY Citizens Committee on Aging. So doors close and windows open. But my dear family and friends remain. I am so grateful for you all. I look forward to even more adventures in 2012. May you enjoy a Christmas and new year blessed with peace, health and many moments of sheer delight!