Finding the Holiday Miracles


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

I made a decision this year. I decided not to put up a Christmas Tree. Then came a wave of guilt. I knew I had to make peace with this choice, so I started to think back on holidays of the past, like in the movie, A Christmas Carol. And, you know what… with the exception of maybe 6 of my 59 Christmases, I cannot remember the tree! What I do remember are memories that I can connect to each holiday season. Some are joyful and comforting. Some are tragic but silver-lined. Today I want to share what should have been the worst Christmas and yet I remember it as one filled with miracles and hope.

In 1977, the first week of December, my family home burned down. It was a tragedy of course, and I remember my father telling my brothers, sisters and me that we had nothing “but the clothes on our backs.” Here is why I tell this story… My grandmother had made me a pink and green quilt a couple years prior. I was told not to go into the house once the fire was out, but I did. I went right up to my bedroom which was above where the fire was thought to have originated. My room was destroyed and there was a terrible gray dinge everywhere, except for a tiny bit of pink on the floor in the corner. I went to look and there was my quilt. Undisturbed. A bit charred and smoke stained, but in one piece. It is the only thing of mine that survived, and I still have it to this day- 42 years later. That was the first miracle.

For two weeks before Christmas my family was broken into different places; my brothers to one family friend, me to another, and my sisters and parents living in a hotel. Out of the blue, my parents were contacted. Two families in our town had just combined like the Brady Bunch and they had an “extra” house that was standing empty on the next street over from ours. Exact amount of bedrooms we needed. They offered it to my parents and refused to take any rent. So, on December 21st we all moved into this house. Neighbors and friends brought Christmas gifts and put up a fabulous fake white tree that looked very Hollywood to me. We had a place to call home and my whole family was back together in our own neighborhood. That was the second miracle.

At this same time, I had a temp job doing filing work after school at an insurance agency. There was a “Secret Santa” type of gift giving and I had drawn the name of an older woman named Ruth. I didn’t know much about her except that she had numbers tattooed on her arm and I knew that meant she had been in a concentration camp. I asked around to see what I should get her and a scarf was the popular answer. I suddenly had this intense need to understand what those numbers meant; so I went to the library and researched. I was horrified. Amidst all the anxiety of our house fire, I could not feel anything but fortunate. I wish I had spent more time talking to Ruth but truth is I did not. Yet, she unknowingly put a fire in my belly. I have spent the last 42 years reading every survivor story I can. I learned about Hanukkah and the miracle of 8 days of light with only one day’s oil. It later dawned on me that Ruthie’s scarf was a Hanukkah gift and I likely wrapped it in Christmas paper not knowing the difference. I have since learned tolerance, acceptance, how to always speak up, keep hope and faith alive and to believe in miracles. I think of her often. She was the third miracle of that December 1977.

Holidays can be wonderful. They can be difficult. They can be joyful. They can be sad. However, there are many miracles big and small hidden for us to find if we look for them. As you celebrate your holidays, I hope you find the hidden miracles in the people you meet, places you go and in small patches of pink if the day seems a little grey.

One-Day Pass


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

It’s that time again. Everywhere you look, there is advice on how to get through the holidays without gaining weight, getting run down, overdoing, feeling blue, etc. And, it all starts with Thanksgiving. The feast of the year. You’ve heard it all before…portion control, moderation, skip the pie, exercise before, take a walk after…blah, blah, blah…. Continue reading

Raise Your Hand


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Think back to your first day of school every year. The teacher would call your name and you would raise your hand and say, “here.” You waited impatiently to hear your name called. Hand ready to shoot up. You were on that special list. Being “here” was comforting. You belonged. Our whole life is based on being “here.” So I ask you this…is being “here” the same as being present? It’s something to think about as you go through your day. Continue reading

Easy Way/Hard Way?

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

As early as I can remember the phrase, “easy way/hard way?” was a daily question for my brothers, sisters and me. Don’t worry, I am not about to share a hardship- not at all… it’s a pleasant memory because it was what our Dad asked us nightly when it was time for bed. We’d all be in our pajamas and when it was your turn for bed my Dad Continue reading

Don’t Buy into it!


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

As a Wellness Program Manager and fitness enthusiast, I spend a lot of time researching the best methods to stay healthy and the science that supports the trends. Guess what… the science doesn’t support the trends that we are buying into! In fact, many of the newest “health” trends are Continue reading

Birthday Surprise!

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Birthdays were always fun when I was a kid.  Once a year I could ask for a “bigger ticket” item.  As a kid, I wanted a banana seat bike with those high handlebars and streamers coming from the handlebar grips.   As a teen, it was a FM clock radio.  In my 20’s I wanted stirrup pants (a precursor to leggings, only uglier).  So now that Continue reading

Eat Your Liver!

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

If you have read any of my blogs over the past months, you know I have been dispensing wise words on how to attain or maintain a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle I personally follow and love. It’s literally my job! Last month I left you with some news about my newly found high blood pressure and I was awaiting lab results. I have been as excited as you to hear the results! Good news, yay…no kidney issues causing the high blood pressure so Continue reading

Better or Best?

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Recently I watched a talk show about nutrition and how to eat healthier. The discussion was focused on the public’s confusion about healthy carbs. We need carbs for energy and nutrients. A no carb diet leads to fatigue and brain fog. I knew all that but what caught my attention was when the host asked if brown rice was better than white rice, the nutrition expert replied, “yes, it is ‘better than,’ but it is not the best choice, so why settle for better than?” To conclude this lesson on carbs (which this blog is not about!) brown rice Continue reading

Option B

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Recently I stumbled across a podcast series that intrigued me. Mind you, two years ago I had no idea what a podcast was. Well, flash forward two years, and guess what? It turns out most Podcasts are free. I was hooked almost immediately. As a Dateline and “ID Channel” addict, I quickly found every podcast on every true crime drama there was. I listened to hours of tragic stories until my kids told me that I only listen to Continue reading