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Offered by Melissa Rippy, Rippy Insurance Agency / Allstate

“Before you cross the street, take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ~ John Lennon

squirrelThis was the first Christmas without my dad. This past December 27th, marked one year since we lost him to Acute Myleoid Leukemia.

For the past 20 years, Dad was the one that picked me up from the Phoenix airport and would take me back to the town of Payson, where I grew up. This last time, a shuttle driver named Howarth drove me to my mom’s instead. For an hour and a half, I listened to an opera and gazed at cloud covered hills as we climbed out of the Saguaro laden desert into the mile-high mountain town in which I was raised.

It was a beautiful day in Payson, Arizona. There was a squirrel eating corn out on the deck. Dad handfed his little buddy for years and he even named him, “Rocky.” The trees have overgrown and the majestic Mogollon Rim is surrounding us but still in the distance, hidden by foliage. The only thing that was missing was Dad.

As we all start this year anew, I hope that whatever the new year brings you, it is also accompanied with peace and kindness. I hope you find what you love and love what you find. I hope that you surround yourself with those you love and those that love you.

The days are long but the years are short, and “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

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Melissa Rippy, Rippy Insurance