We are so excited to kick off this new year with the articles we’re sharing in this issue, especially the one by Joan Tupponce about a very special mother and daughter, who also happen to be our first RFM cover repeat. Who could forget the beautiful cover featuring Sarah Bloom and her baby from 2018, when Joan wrote her first story about Sarah (which you can read at RFMonline.com).
A lot has changed for Sarah and her family since then, and we couldn’t be more honored that she’s sharing their story with RFM readers. I cried as I read about Marian’s journey and her resilience, and I know you’ll be as inspired as I was when you read about the community of caregivers who has rallied around this sweet family (page 20).
Speaking of inspiring, seventeen-year-old Delano Dulin will surely inspire you as you read about his health journey and the team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU who guided him through a kidney transplant. We are so fortunate to have this facility right here in our hometown, along with UNOS and Make-A-Wish, two of the groups who also played roles in Delano’s story (page 28).
On the lighter side of life, travel writer Wendy Irvine is back with a look at the top cruise lines for family adventure. Before you book your dream cruise with the family, be sure to read Wendy’s rundown of her fab five cruise lines (page 46). It sure has me thinking about hitting the high seas with the family this year!
As we inevitably seem to do this time of year, resolutions abound and vows are made to do better and be better. I have a friend who chooses a word of the year to guide her family through their hopes for each new year. Her family has done all sorts of neat things around their words, including creating artwork and planning family activities. Some of her past words have been brave, vision, metamorphosis, self-discipline, and embrace.
I think if I had a word of the year that I’d like all families to consider, it would be grace. We have such high expectations of ourselves, and I hope we’re all remembering to occasionally give ourselves a break. This can include not feeling guilty when you don’t say yes to all of the things people ask you to do every day. And not being hard on yourself when you realize you totally failed at last year’s resolutions (I sure did). And not beating yourself up for grabbing fast food for the kids on your way to soccer practice. A lot is expected of us as caregivers, and it’s important to give ourselves some grace to not be perfect. So there, our word for 2024 is grace – let’s embrace it!
From all of us at RFM, have a happy and healthy 2024!