May I Walk With You? New Year

January 14, 2020

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at

Wow! It’s hard to believe that its 2020. It’s January and if you haven’t taken an assessment of the past year, its ups and downs, now is a good time to do it. It’s not uncommon for most people to get a little emotional at this time of year as we recollect the past and make plans for the new year. This past year had its downs for me. Last January I had surgery to remove a seven-millimeter kidney stone-not fun. Then in May I lost a good friend, Jim Prisk. I think about him everyday and miss him terribly. Later in the summer, my son Charlie took a job in Texas, and while he gets back to Michigan about one weekend a month, it’s just not the same. I understand the prodigal’s father a lot more. My twin sister also moved to Texas. For the first time in many years we’ve not spent our birthday together. I’ve also put on about ten pounds and just recently had my seventieth birthday. I look and feel older.

Among the ups this past year are that I’ve cut my work schedule back to three days per week. I work a lot keeping up the yard and garden and helping my brother work on his house. More than that I am spending more time with Mary Jo, helping her with her “traditional” tasks. Also, I was asked to facilitate the adult religion class at our parish, and we have a good group. Mary Jo and I had our whole family to the cottage for a week and we found yooperlite stones and made some stepping stones out of mortar and small stones. I also was able to vacation with friends on Drummond Island. Good times. I bought a medium size John Deere tractor with a loader, hoping to save my back and do deer plots next summer. My brother, Mark, loves driving the tractor as he continues to live with us. I appreciate all the things he does for us, especially his humor.

All in all it has been a good year for me and my family as we venture into what God has in store for us in the new year. While I’m getting older, I hope to lose a few pounds and exercise to stay in shape so that I can continue to enjoy my life. Obviously, there are going to be more unexpected problems and surprises in the new year, but we will be ok. “Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard what God has in store for those who love him.” Our bishop suggested that we all pray for a half hour each day. It is a good suggestion for all of us.

Mary Jo and I thank you for all the support you have given us throughout the year. I appreciate all the comments both positive and negative and I hope to continue writing this year. Thank you for “Walking with me.”

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”

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