There is one woman who has influenced my life since the moment I came into this world and one woman who taught me huge lessons. Not only me, but the Mercer family and anyone who crossed her path. She experienced heartache and pain, she taught "tough" kids, she outlived her youngest child, became a widow suddenly and tragically at a young age, she saw death of people she loved probably more than any other human, and she saw unfairness and injustice... but she never gave excuses or blamed, instead she fought with the only weapons that can overcome the evil of this world...
This amazing and humble woman who was admired by many in any location that she lived rarely said a cross word or raised a voice, but when the time was right to stand up she stood on the solid rock. She was strong and courageous even in a weak and failing body. She loved others in a way that showed a bright light even to her last breaths, as the Hospice woman came to be inspired by this little lady. She understood the valuable things in life and she understood boundaries even when she could see those close to her making mistakes. She never gave up on anyone, but she knew when and where to draw the boundaries to protect herself and enable her to keep loving the individual. She passed onto me the REAL meaning of not only Christmas, but also of life, the three F's...
This time of year causes many to get carried away in finding the "perfect" gifts, spending beyond their means, stressing over things that mean nothing in the grand scheme of life. So take a moment to stop and pause and remember the real meaning of this special season of love... Faith, Family, and Friends. When the season is over and we ring in a new year make sure that the memories you created and the bonds you strengthen around the table this Christmas season will lift you when you walk through the mountains and valleys of the coming year.
It didn't matter who or where, from the High School Football Field to the Department of Corrections, Denise has spent her life loving and cheering for people.