Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

Happy New Year 2017–Looking Back and Looking Forward



Until yesterday, when I posted my first post of this year, I had not blogged since June, 2016!  Some of you missed me, thank you very much.  It’s been an interesting six months, good and bad as real life always is.  This is my family’s story, part of it for 2016.

The less than good events were of course, my continuing battle with heart disease, and angina, which only creates problems if I walk too far, more than  20 to 35 feet, or stand more than a few minutes, or get too cold, or too hot!  

Health issues continued to try to bring us down, but didn’t succeed!  My husband of 45 years, Max had cancer last year.  He had surgery and treatments, and appears to be cancer free.  We are keeping an eye on his numbers of course, but so far it’s been great!  Max, who is never sick, but our strength and rock, also had bronchitis which would not stop!  We all had viruses as well, so we kind of quarantined ourselves for a couple of weeks, with coughing and hacking being the ultimate sound in our house!  LOL

 Our adult  daughter, one of them,  hurt her back and has been unable to return to work for over a year! Treatment after treatment, doctor after doctor, she had to give up her apartment and move home–then there were the medical bills. Thank God for Obamacare!  Oh, you say Republicans are going to get rid of it? You say they won the elections?  How did I miss that? Not!

Even in my family of origin–normally healthy people were sick last year! Seriously ill. My sister had quintuple bypass and an ablation for afib.  The ablation failed and in a month they did a cardioversion!  Vasculitis set in, so forth and so on!  She continues to improve, but what a battle!  One brother fights severe diabetes, and another had cancer surgery also!  It’s true what they say…



So you can see that health concerns overshadowed our lives this past year.

Good news buoyed us however, our faith sustained us and fun and adventures brought joy!  Max is much better, I am stable, and our daughter is improving, slowly but surely!  So why did I not blog for six months?

I kept thinking I would.  But besides health issues, I got into helping people find their birth parents and their true heritage, genealogy!  It was so rewarding, and so much fun, I felt like a detective!  Amazingly, and as we all know, the universe works in strange ways. Most of the people I had the joy of being involved with were people who matched my own dna on ancestry!  I’ve written about a case or two before actually, but in the last six months, the numbers of folks topped fifteen that I was involved in searching for roots with! I can hardly wait to tell you about some of them, some successful, some not, some still in progress. However, all were successful in one way, I met a new cousin!   I met generally  3rd, 4th, even 6th cousins who had been adopted, and were kin to me!  Amazing adventures!

Of course my other special hobbies, of my 3 g’s, besides genealogy, are grandchildren and gardening. They each brought us so very much joy this year, that we can still smile,laugh,and enjoy life…and maybe even blog a little.  

Fully present in the moment, children help you focus on joy! Fully beautiful at the moment, flowers do also.  And don’t forget Elvis, it’s his birthday!

 Lift your head, look around, breathe, smile, life is worth living. Wishing you all the best, and looking forward to the journey. 

Personal photo collection, grandchildren enjoying first snow of 2017

Personal photo collection, grandchildren enjoying first snow of 2017


Personal photo collection, lillies in our garden


Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

10 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2017–Looking Back and Looking Forward

  1. As always, you inform, you inspire, you tickle my funny bone, and you amaze me with your love of life and all of God’s gifts. Thank you for being YOU! Love and hugs, Linda

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. What a year! Sorry we did not vacation together in ’16! Maybe a weekend in the spring?

    Yet, here we are, all above ground, and ready for seed catalogs to pass the days.

    I have learned to “dance in the rain,” and you and yours have, too. Taking a minute, then an hour at a time, and actively seeking beauty to restore our souls, while praying and trusting that, no matter what, we are, each one, valued beyond riches, and of such great value to Him, so greatly loved we are.


  3. Thank you so much Linda darlin! I hope you know how much I cherish you and am thankful for your feedback. When I think of your own health struggles, your caretaking and losses– it staggers me and inspires me that you always find joy and live life with such elan. Love you, Helen


  4. If anyone can teach us how to find joy in the midst of pain in ife, it is you dear Sharon! Taking care of your desparately ill son is an all consuming situation. You inspire me with your ability to still seeand feel joy.
    Love you, Helen


  5. So glad you are back with us! Been having a lot of heart and stress related BP issues myself but thankfully the dr finally got it under control. Here is to a Happier Healthier New Year for all!


  6. So happy to see you here Marcia, and thank you so much! Sorry to hear of your own health issues but glad they are under control! Love you dearly, Helen


  7. I think of you often, and even though we have never meet I consider you a friend. I hope 2017 brings relief to you and your family. I look forward to reading your blog this coming year. All the best for the new year.


  8. Dear Charles, you honor me, and I appreciate it greatly, as I feel the same way. I miss it when I am not blogging, but always,always love and admire your own blog! It is always informative and interesting! As I have said before, you are a natural born teacher! Thanks, Helen


  9. Your blogging portends hope for a healthier New Year! Welcome back, sweet and dear old Friend! Our lives are graced by your presence, wit and wisdom. 💜


  10. Thank you my cherished friend of 50 years– Carol E. Winters, PhD. You have walked every peak and valley with me, what an awesome gift! Love yoou, Helen


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