But this time of year also heightens my emotions. Maybe it's because I'm exhausted beyond comprehension, but I'm the kind of teary that makes you cry at Hallmark card commercials. I listen to Christmas music (I'm Jewish, but I love the music of the holidays) and it reminds me of my mom and I cry. I listen to my favorite Peter, Paul and Mary and it reminds me of Mary Travers, whom we lost this year, and I cry. I hear that a friend's child with awful cancer has clear scans and I cry. Good tears, tears that mean I'm alive.
This has been quite a year. We lost not only Mary, but Ted Kennedy -- I so wish he was here to vote yes tomorrow morning when the Senate passes its reform bill. It touches me so that his widow will be in the gallery.
And we lost the public option. But in 2010, we will have health insurance reform, and everybody in America with a pre-existing condition will be able to sign up for a high risk pool in a matter of weeks or months, with more changes taking effect over the next few years. 30 million people will get insurance. We just have to make it through conference and it will be done.
Here's what the LA Times said today:
These "insurance reforms ... will open a new chapter in the lives of sick people ... those with mental illness, heart disease, cancer, diabetes -- chronic ailments that touch almost every family in America. Those patients are the ones most likely to lose coverage because their policies impose lifetime limits, or because they have, in industry parlance, a 'preexisting condition.' ... (L)egislation President Obama is expected to sign into law next year will almost certainly ensure they have access to health insurance."
And it's been a busy year in other ways, as well. In October, I was quoted in AARP Magazine and our call volume exploded by 50%. I had two trips in October, one in November, and surgery in November, so the past few months have been absolutely insane. I'm due for a break and I will get one -- Advocacy for Patients will be closed for the holidays so I can recharge my batteries.
It's been a good year, in all. We were overjoyed by the addition of little Amieta to the Advocacy for Patients family. Between Amieta and Emily (the cat), Celeste and I have two good helpers!
Anyway, I'm too tired to do any serious writing, but I wanted to wish you all very happy and HEALTHY holidays, and a wonderful 2010. Maybe next year will be the year when we raise the money to hire a second lawyer! Regardless, though, we'll do our best to be here for you if you need us.
After the holidays!
Wishing you and yours the very best, Jennifer