Grief is complicated and unique for everyone. During the holidays, these feelings are usually magnified and trying to navigate through all the emotions can be difficult. I have recently come to know these struggles all too well. On November 7th, 2021 our family was devastated and our hearts were shattered by the loss of our patriarch, my big hearted and loving father Salim Ishak.
Although the pain is indescribable, as a family we decided the best way to honor him is to continue his legacy and memories of all the unconditional love he gave us.
Thanksgiving was our first holiday without him. We were blessed to have our large, loud, and caring family celebrate my father’s memory with us. We reserved one seat for our beloved dad, right next to my mother. They were married for 47 years. His seat will always be at the head of our table, as we know he continues to watch over us. All 50 of our family members took a turn to share their favorite memory or life lesson they had with Salim. Speaking about him is emotional, but also is healing for our hearts. My dad always started every holiday feast by toasting and saying, “Family always comes first.” We continued this tradition.
For Christmas we have adopted a family to help brighten their holiday in honor of my father. He was a big advocate and believer of giving back and caring for others. We are proud to continue this part of his legacy. Giving others joy has also been healing for my family.
My father was also an amazing cook. Feeding others was a passion for him. He owned a deli in New York before moving to Arizona. My siblings and mother will use all he has taught us in the kitchen to create his favorite holiday dishes. Our Christmas dinner will be filled with delicious Lebanese traditional foods to include, grape leaves, hummus, Kibbeh (Grounded beef with spices), and spinach pies. I will be the official taste-tester because I have yet to master my dad’s talent of cooking.
A part of our loved ones will always live within us. For those that are missing someone special this time of year, allow yourself to feel any emotion that comes your way. There truly is no right or wrong way to grieve and I hope you know you are not alone. I remind you to be kind to yourself and take it one moment at a time during this journey.
The holidays can be a tough reminder that we are missing someone we love. It can be a time of mourning traditions that you don’t get to experience any longer. Some families have started new traditions to remember their loved ones, while still finding joy in the holidays. New traditions can be little things you decide to do on your own or more family-oriented things to do together. You’ll want a tradition that can be repeated year after year and one that could even be passed to future generations.
A few ideas to try:
The site below has some beautiful ideas to help you come up with a tradition that will work best for you. Have you already started a new tradition for the holidays, celebrations, or just everyday life? Email us to let us know; we may be able to spotlight that in future newsletters.
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According to the American Medical Association, between 9.3 million and 45 million illnesses are caused by influenza (flu) every year, leading to 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the United States. Complications of the flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. The seasonal influenza vaccine has been determined to be the most powerful tool to protect individuals from influenza and reduce the impact of the virus on public health. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises everyone ages 6 months or older to get a flu vaccination annually, with very few exceptions. For children under 2 years of age, adults over 65 years old, anyone with a suppressed immune system, pregnant women, and anyone with liver, heart, kidney, and chronic lung disease it is especially important. For more information on the types of flu vaccines available, where to get a flu vaccine, or how they work please visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm
With cold and flu season upon us, it is important to note that Science Care donors are assisting in the fight to keep the public protected from viruses and other infectious diseases, as well as in efforts to develop better diagnostics and treatments intended to nurse those infected back to health.
This month, we wanted to share some of the important contributions that members of the Science Care community have made to these efforts through their selfless gift of body donation to science. Science Care donors have contributed to:
The Science Care community continues to provide invaluable contributions toward the advancement of medical science.
“National Influenza Vaccination Week is a call to all Americans 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine if they have not already. Flu remains a significant public health concern, and this week will serve to remind people that there is still time to get a flu vaccine—the only vaccine that protects against flu—to prevent flu illness and potentially serious complications.”
Eggnog isn’t for everyone, but during the holidays more than 135 million pounds of eggnog is consumed each year. National Eggnog Day is December 24th and what better way to celebrate than with this healthy eggnog recipe. A twist on a sweet holiday treat that won’t leave you feeling guilty about the calories.
6 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup, pure
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk eggs, maple syrup, and milk in a medium saucepan, and then place on a burner over medium heat. Whisk regularly until the mixture reaches 160* F or so and coats the back of a metal spoon slightly.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then mix in the spices and vanilla.
Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Whisk well before serving.
As if we need another reason to eat sweets in December, National Cookie Day was on 12/4. It’s not too late to whip up a batch of your favorite cookies. Here are some fun recipes to try:
A Charlie Brown Christmas almost didn’t happen
One of the most beloved holiday specials of all time is A Charlie Brown Christmas, but it took ages before television executives could even convince Charles Schulz to get into the animation game. When it finally got made, CBS executives hated it so much that they almost nixed it. Execs from the sponsor, Coca Cola, hated it too upon their first viewing.
Lucky for fans of Peanuts Gang television specials everywhere, A Charlie Brown Christmas made it to the airwaves anyway, premiering on December 9, 1965. That night, it was seen by approximately half of all American households that owned a television. It’s been a holiday entertainment staple ever since, and 44 more Peanuts Gang specials have been made for television.
A Christmas Story had humble beginnings
The movie, A Christmas Story, has become a Christmas classic, but when it opened the week before Thanksgiving 1983, it appeared on fewer than 900 screens. Thanks to the advent of home video and cable television, it slowly made its way into the mainstream until 1988, when cable network TNT aired its first 12-showing, 24-hour marathon, imbuing the film with cult status. The annual marathon is now on TBS and attracts more than 40 million viewers each year.
It’s a Wonderful Life was deemed un-American by the FBI
For the first 10 years after it premiered in 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life, that sweet and seemingly guileless Christmas classic, was on the FBI’s radar as suspected Communist propaganda—because it (supposedly) tended to make bankers seem like jerks. It was exonerated in 1956. We don’t care what those government guys said; we’ve always loved it, even back when it was blacklisted.
There are three most covered Christmas tunes
Some Christmas songs never seem to get old. Of the 24 most-covered Christmas songs, none has been covered fewer than 7,000 times. The top three are:
Silent Night: Written in 1818, there are 26,496 versions
White Christmas: Written in 1940, there are 20,721 versions
Jingle Bells: Written in 1857, there are 19,080 versions
The famous Christmas song, Happy Xmas (War is Over), is released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
The Golden Gate Bridge loses power all night due to a power failure, meaning there is no light all night.
For the second time in history, the US dollar is devalued.
The first Australian McDonald’s opens in Yagoona, Sydney.
Family Affair – Sly & the Family Stone
Brand New Key - Melanie
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