The Best Gift of All!

January (2008) I received a beautiful email from a client who I worked with many years ago. Even in 2014, we stay in touch, speaking every few weeks.

Subj: Happy New Year 
Date: 01/09/2008 10:02:43 AM Eastern Standard Time 
From: JSawler 

Hi Miss M -

Thank you for your New Year wishes - I send the same to you.

I hope your holiday celebrations were wonderful.

Guess what I asked for as my gifts from family and friends - time ! That's right, the amazing Miss M gave me another idea this year - If anyone complained that they wanted to "BUY" me something, I would just tell them that time was money, only even more valuable.

These are some of the gifts I received: 

  •   Time alone with my grandson 
  •   A promise to have a Sunday afternoon dinner/or breakfast once a month for 2008 with our dear neighbors who we never spend enough time with 
  •   An out of state friend donated 1 hour biweekly to a local Boys and Girls Club type facility to read to the little ones. 
  •   An elderly friend is donating time on the telephone with other shut ins each month 
  •   Time with me to teach me how to improve my basket weaving techniques 
  •   Shorter but more frequent telephone calls when I am not feeling my best (from my friends mom in AZ) 
  •   A week long Springtime visit from my NY daughter and granddaughter - just for us girls.

Got to say, this is one of my best holiday gifts in many years.

Just thought I would share.

Joan E. Sawler 

Let me tell you a little bit about Joan. Joan is an wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.  She values each and every day not just in words but by her actions.

The reality is Joan has not been well for many years with Behcet's Syndrome. Most of us have never heard of it but the results are very debilitating. Through all of her pain, Joan maintains her sense of humor. She is remarkable.

I held on to this email to share it with you at just the right time and that time is now. Before you read her email, let me tell you a little bit about Behcet's Syndrome.


Behcet's syndrome is categorized as an auto-immune disease although it does not follow the usual pattern for other auto-immune diseases. It often takes years for doctors to make the diagnosis.

The immune system attacks itself which produces unwanted and highly exaggerated inflammation throughout the body. The syndrome brings on extreme exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cardio vascular and digestive problems, sharp and overwhelming pain in joints and organs, and often blindness and stroke due to vasculitis. Numerous, harsh medications somewhat lessen the painful symptoms and exhaustion but can bring along their own difficult side effects. 

Posted on December 23, 2014 and filed under The Real World, Personal Productivity.