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Take time to rest and reflect before New Year
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A year ago, I resolved to spend 2012 praying more and, in my prayers, asking for patience. I have prayed, I have asked, I have received, but not enough.

Ask my family and they may attest that I must not have prayed enough, as my patience often runs thin.

This year has been more than interesting and full of challenges. My father Newt Gingrich, ran for the Republican nomination. Just one year ago this week, on Dec. 27, 2011, our family of four (me, my husband Jimmy and our two children) boarded a plane from our home in Atlanta to Des Moines, Iowa, for the caucuses.

We were not the only people on the plane in the political arena. Numerous reporters and photographers were also on our flight. My husband and I instructed our children to watch what they said and did lest they inadvertently become news stories.

It was an indication that the year to come would not be normal. There were incredible ups and downs: the negative campaign in Iowa, the cold fight in New Hampshire and the exciting win in South Carolina, where the ballroom was so crowded and hot that sweat was literally dripping off our noses. This was quickly followed by a win in Georgia on Super Tuesday, followed soon afterward by the disappointing defeats in Alabama and Mississippi.

Soon after my father's bid for the nomination ended, my mother Jackie Gingrich, suffered a series of strokes.

My sister Kathy and I, and our families, rallied around our mother. With help of many friends, might I say angels, my mom moved into a rehabilitation center. With her hard work, and the excellent care provided by the center's staff, she has made incredible progress and was able to spend both Christmas morning and Christmas evening with us.

The roller coaster of life has been in high gear, with numerous ups and downs.

It's been hard for me to take in everything that has happened, to process, and to determine what it all means. It's all at once overwhelming and unimaginable. I'm so thankful this year for my husband Jimmy, who has been my anchor, and for our children, who remind me daily of what is most important in life.

I am going to spend this week, between Christmas and New Year's, not in looking back, or in forcing myself forward, but in the moment.

In watching our new puppy bound around, in watching my mother's face light up as the puppy licks her face, in being a bit more gracious, not only with others, but also with myself.

Enjoying spending time with family and friends. Trying to remember that not everything can be done in a day, not even if I try with all my might!

If it's been a long year for you as well, take time to rest, relax and recover from the year at hand, and get ready for the New Year to come.

To find out more about Jackie Gingrich-Cushman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit