by Dan Spoone
Happy holidays to all of our ACB family. We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. This is a difficult year for Leslie and me. We have been married for 23 lovely years. Each year since our marriage, we travel across country to Las Vegas to visit Leslie’s family for the holidays. It’s a very special time.
Leslie’s family has experienced lots of loss over the years. She has lost her dad and her three older sisters. So, the holidays are really important to us. We have a chance to remember the ones we have lost and count our blessings with her 88-year-old mother, Betty, and visit with her brother Darren and our sister-in-law, Terran. We have a chance to catch up with our brother-in-law, Dale, who was married to Leslie’s older sister, Anita, who passed in 2013. Our niece, Jessica, is doing well adjusting to the loss of her mother, and we are very proud of how well she is doing with her real estate career. Jessica’s husband, Chad, is an EMT. He has been on the front line of the COVID-19 virus since March. He works in the emergency room at a local hospital and spends lots of time in isolation rooms with patients. They live each day with a level of fear, but they are working hard to continue to lead a safe and productive life. There are lots of walks, bike rides and outdoor grilling events. They all work hard to make sure that Betty stays safe, by helping her with her groceries, errands and maintenance around the house. Betty is still sharp as a tack, but she has some underlying health conditions, and we all want to make sure she stays safe and healthy.
I share this family background with you not because our family is unique, but because it is so much like your own families.
We had to make a difficult decision this holiday season. Do we make the cross-country trip to see our family? Leslie has not seen her mother in over a year, and she is really wanting to give her a big hug. We love the decorations and holiday music in the casinos. We love going to holiday movies. We love the memories of her dad and sisters. We play games and get caught up on each other’s lives. Chad and I have a few beers on the front porch and solve the problems of the world. It’s family. It just makes you feel good and we all make a pact to not discuss politics!
Unfortunately, this year we had to make the hard decision to stay home for the holidays. We are worried about the long flight and exposing Betty to the virus. The casinos seem very risky and the movie theaters are closed. We are worried about all being together in a close indoor space and we don’t want to take any unnecessary chances.
Wow, what a hard time of year! Yet, we are so thankful that our family is healthy. Everyone has a job and food on the table. We are already making plans for next year. We can’t wait until Thanksgiving 2021. It’s really important to have something to look forward to in the future.
In the middle of this different holiday season, ACB has been our salvation. The community events keep our spirits up every day. It is fantastic to hear the joy in everyone’s voices and laugh, sigh and cry with our ACB family. Our organization continues to accomplish so much. There has been tremendous work done in the area of accessible voting, expansion of audio description services and increased support services through our relationship with Be My Eyes and our countless ACB podcasts.
I am so proud of what ACB has accomplished. The staff has risen to the challenge and our member-volunteers have given so much of their time, talent and treasure. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Leslie and I wish you a wonderful holiday season. Please be kind to each other and don’t forget to celebrate your victories, remember those we have lost and be thankful for all of our blessings. Man, I can’t wait until next year! Stay safe!