Two Tweet-Stories for the Holidays

Thank you to the many who summed up their year in a 140 characters or less with #myyearyahoo. Some were so compelling—and reflected so much of what all of us were undergoing in 2009—that we had to dig behind the scenes a bit more in a post.

So many continue to come in (and yes, that drawing lasts through the year), and they are all wonderful. Just in the last few hours: One person got a new job and “mom’s in remission after 5 years.” Another has two new step-siblings: “kinda strange, but more family gatherings for xmas this year :D.” A third provided a recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies — hey, that works for us. (O, the recipe is: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg. 10 minutes in the oven @ 350.)

We did save two behind-the-scenes stories for an appropriate day. Lareado tweeted twice, but with the same message: “We still have a home and a healthy family, we do not have all that we want, but we are lucky enough to have all that we need,” and “In the year I realized family is the most important thing.” Gerdemean’s tweet was also a simple message: “Learning to live with less and appreciate the things that really matter.”

As always, simplicity is deceptive. Just like divining the meaning behind a handful of searches out of billions, we dug into a few tweets — and got a one-in-a-million stories that we just get. And they are good and timely messages for the Yuletide.

Keep those tweets coming. And happy holidays.

From Lareado via email:
“My realization about how important family came to me when I was making my Christmas list. Every year I write down my family members names and think about what would be a good gift to get them for Christmas, when I realized how many people where no longer on that list. While people struggle with long gift lists, they need to stop and appreciate all the people who are on that list because they not be there next year.

“In the hard times of 2009, financial,and emotional, I know that no matter where my life takes me that I have a large group of people ready to support me and accept me with warmth and love, and it is a gift to be able to be a source of strength and support for them also. I wish that for everyone. It is a remarkable feeling even on the hardest of days.”

From Gerdemean via email (and thanks for the photo—above):
“For my wife and I, 2009 proved to be a very trying year. My wife was pregnant and couldn’t work. The pregnancy was considered high risk, so with all the doctor visits, scans, and tests, we starting racking up some hefty medical bills, even with health insurance. Our savings began to dwindle, and we started to scrutinize what used to be insignificant purchases, eliminate services we thought we couldn’t live without, and save money any way we could.

“Our daughter was born in March, three months before her due date, and weighed less than two pounds. She was in the hospital until June as she grew and fought to develop the skills that a full term infant would have. It was hard for us to be with her as much as we would have liked. We lived two hours away from the hospital that had the necessary facilities, but spent countless hours travelling back and forth so we could see her.

“The day she was discharged seemed like it would never get here. Even with the joy we felt finally having her at home, bills for the hospital stay and the dozens of doctors that managed her case brought with it new anxiety. While we waited for the insurance company to process over 90 days of hospital care, we did all the things that new parents did. We stayed up all night, changed diapers, celebrated milestones, and marveled at our little miracle. The things that encompassed our life before quickly faded away. Material things, the parties our friends went to, none of that mattered anymore.

“Even though money is still tight, we have enough to get by and that seems like all we need. Before we had children, I can remember people telling us that it will change everything. I never would have imagined how true that is. And how wonderful it truly is.”