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    28th December 2011

    Beautiful, joyful, incredible, heartbreaking life

    December has been a mixed bag of a month for me. I had a couple weeks of school, and they were a preview of the significant challenge I will be facing when I head back to LA next week. Student teaching and taking several classes and preparing for the credentialing process. But then I got to go to Colorado to visit my family and celebrate Christmas. There is so much life in my family! And young people definitely make Christmas more fun for everyone. My sister had a beautiful baby named Maggie Grace on December 6 – as if we needed any more reasons to be thankful at Christmas time.

    Our family Christmas celebrations were joyful and wonderful and the kids are all so amazing and interesting and are all at different stages in life. After studying learning and developmental theory this year I was thinking about how each young person in my family is at a different developmental stage… and how beautiful that was, that in one family all different stages of life would be represented – though it would have been even more picture perfect to have had my grandma there as well (besides the fact that she makes the best Swedish meatballs!).

    Then on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my throat was sore and swollen and by noon on Christmas, my uvula had swollen up so much I knew I had to go see someone about it. Unfortunately, on Christmas, the only place open is the ER… but I was thankful I went when the strep test came back positive and even more thankful when the pain was already almost gone the next day thanks to the miracle of penicillin.

    And then I was even more thankful that I was feeling better/not-contagious and was around so I could go to a friend’s funeral.

    I mentioned Liz here in a post when this site was first active and I was still inpatient at Craig Hospital. She came in a bit more than a month after I did and had a similar spinal cord injury level. She was feisty and stubborn and funny and well, a teenage girl, which was all she needed to get lots of attention from us teenage boys who were going through rehab. She was learning guitar and I could play. We were both Christians. And she and I and Alex and Colin and Drew and Denver and Courtney and Jason and others all went through some terrible times together. Sure Craig was and is a positive place and everyone has good attitudes, but when you’re alone with your thoughts as a newly minted para or quad, it’s still a lonely, painful place. There is a bond between people that have gone through this type of experience that is difficult to really explain fully. And I’m sad to have one less friend on this journey through life. But, like Denver, who I wrote a little about here, Liz also suffered from chronic pain related to her injury. And now she is no longer in any pain.

    As we have borne the image of the man of dust, so we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.
    -1 Corinthians 15:49

    I had never heard this song before, but during the memorial it was played during a final slideshow and it hit me with its full sadness and power and I’ve been thinking/singing it since.

    Goodbye Liz. You are loved and you will be missed.

    Read more about Liz or make donations here. A life well-lived should be well-remembered.

    5th December 2011

    For you Christmas music lovers: Electric Christmas (Bethlehem Remix)

    For those of you who just can’t get enough Christmas music – and I know you are out there all over – I put together a few instrumental/electronic arrangements of some Christmas songs. I think they turned out pretty good and I’m offering them for free right now at

    http://www.noisetrade.com/darylholmlund

    Or you can just use this widget below here and it will work the same as going all the way to noisetrade.

    Also, if you really love Christmas and have not yet acquired Sauni’s Big Jump’s First Christmas EP, I have it up on noise trade also. You can find that page here:

    http://www.noisetrade.com/saunisbigjump

    And again, you could just use this widget below here and it will be just like going all the way to noisetrade!

    Tell your Christmas music loving friends if you like anything you hear!

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.