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December 31, 2015


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It must be difficult for you to share these painful experiences, but there's much for all of us to learn when it comes to loss. I will remember your uncle's saying, "Never resist a generous act." Much wisdom lies in those five words. I am sorry for your and Judy's losses. May this new year bring peace and healing to you.


What a beautiful tribute to your Uncle Jim and to CeCe... both in your actions and in your words. If we could all be so lucky as to be remembered in this way after we each pass...

tom sightings

Your Uncle Jim sounds like a great guy ... thanks for sharing a little bit about him and your friend. May 2016 be much kinder to you and yours.


A lot of wisdom in your observations.


As we all learn through the years some years are great and others aren't. But in the long run if we can hang in there times always make the turn. Thanks for being a good friend to Judy and your Uncle. I personally look back on 2015 and it was one of the best ever for me and my family. Hang in there Syd, 2016 may be a great one - we have that hope!
If all goes well the sale of my business will be going through in 4 weeks. One thing I am looking forward to after retiring is having the time to help others and just get together more.


Wishing you a happier and healthier 2016.


Nicely written Syd. Hope that things go well for you and yours in 2016. 2015 was kind of a tough year for me too. I'm hoping for better this year!


Your generosity in sharing through your posts helps me; thanks for that! I am still figuring out retirement and your perspective has helped me. I hope you experience contentment and joy in 2016!

Retired Syd

Once again the blogging community warms my heart! Thank you all for your wonderful, supportive comments. Another thing I'm grateful for!

Barbara Johnson

Sydney, it sounds like you and your Uncle held a special bond, both of you able to give and receive. Sometimes giving is much easier than receiving. At some point in our lives we realize that receiving a gift of love by allowing and asking others for help in time if need is gratifying as well. You are truly blessed to have been there for your Uncle when he reached out.
Blessings for a health and peaceful 2016.


Thanks for sharing your year. Sometimes it's difficult to express such heavy emotions. I love your uncle's quote about a generous act. I admit I never looked at it as someone allowing you to help them. It truly is a gift, and I will remember this going forward!
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2016!


Sorry about the loss of your uncle who sounds like a wonderful guy. It seems to me that one of the markers of an authentic, mutual relationship is that we give and take as needed. Seems you had that with your uncle. Many of us have a difficult time asking for what we need for oh so many reasons and are more comfortable giving. Your uncle offered good advice -- "Never resist a generous act."

Best wishes for a happy new year.

David Michael

Sydney, sorry to hear about the passing of your uncle from the AP.

My own uncle, John Roderick, lived in Japan for much of his life as an Associated Press Correspondent for 50 years, dying at age 95. He had an incredibly adventurous life having reported from many parts of the globe. He was most famous for his reports of living with Mao and Chou En Lai during the early days of the Chinese Communist Revolution. It was always a treat to visit him in Kamakura at his restored Japanese Farm House (now quite famous). He was an active speaker and former President of the Tokyo Press Club. He must have worked with or for your uncle for many years. (Small world!)

Have a great new year!

Retired Syd

David: What a small world! I wonder if they knew one another. Do you mean the Foreign Correspondent's Club (FCC) in Tokyo? My uncle was also a past president. I am going there in May this year, and a friend of Jim's will take me to the FCC for lunch. I was there many years ago. They have a hallway with photos of past presidents on the wall--I will look for your uncle!

My father and I went to visit Kamakura when we were there in 1997. That was about my favorite part of my Japan trip. We went to the money washing temple, where in a faux pas, my father tried to dry his wet yen--from washing our money in the temple--in one of those incense areas. The Japanese were very good natured about it--but I tease my dad that he single-handedly caused the following Asian stock market crash.

Mona McGinnis

This is a quote that has sustained me through times of grief and mourning - "I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable." - Lindberg

Happy New Year.

new retirement condos Scarborough

One of the heart melted post of a blog I've read today. I felt 2015 is an unlucky year to me as well! But I never ever quit. 2016 will be a great year for both of us! Just keep going. Your uncle is now resting well and believe that he is in the better place today.


What a thoughtful post! Your family and friends are lucky to have you.


Great advice from your uncle. Sorry for your loss, but agree that it was helpful that you had time to be there for your loved ones.

I'm a new follower, on the path to early semi-retirement after we pay off our debt. It's really inspiring to read about the "after," including that you returned to part time work for a while. Our goal is to pay off all debts (including our rental property) and invest in a 401K. Then, we will only need to earn enough money through part-time, flexible employment to cover our low living expenses.


Great article Syd. Hope you're doing well and haven't stopped blogging. We miss you. Take care . . . .

Retired Syd

Rose: Thanks for your comment. I hate to say it out loud but I have FINALLY started writing a book. The blog is obviously suffering! But I do hope to squeeze in a blog post here or there, really!

Diane C

I don't want to sound like some internet stalker weirdo, but I miss your voice, dear Retired Syd, and hope this extended radio silence only reflects a busy, happy life.

Retired Syd

It does Diane, thank you! We're in the middle of selling our wine-country home and it's taking up all my physical and mental energy. Honestly, I don't know how I used to do two things at the same time when I was working! I can't multi-task anymore. Wow, I guess there's a blog post topic right there! If only it would write itself. . .

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