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Happy Holidays from CardioTabs Owners, the O'Keefe's

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Dear Family and Friends,

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. We’ve asked Santa to stuff them with vibrating portable battery-operated appliances. No…not those kind! We’ve fallen in love with Clarisonic face scrubbers, Sonicare toothbrushes, and wireless headphones.

This fall Kathleen joined Evan at Emory. Because Kathleen is her father’s child, we were worried that her being on her own might be a disaster. Indeed, it was a rocky first semester. Missed flights, lost phone, stolen wallet, lingering bronchitis, and tough classes. Kathleen is discovering that her mother is not the dunce that she seemed to be for the past seven years. I sent the kids a very cute picture of Joan snuggling with Lola the cat. Kathleen, texted me back, “I miss her soooo much.” I asked Kathleen, “Your mom?” and she replied, “Oh… sure, her too.”

During fall break Joan and I were outta town, but Kathleen came home anyway just to hang out with the animals. Evan is Kathleen’s Uber driver (for free), shuttling her to and from say, a manicure, for example. They’re like an old married couple—after 13 hours driving home together in his cramped, dented car that can be entered only by climbing through an open window, he was cranky about her need for frequent rest area stops, and Kathleen griped about Evan’s screaming at other drivers. Evan has his sights set on another degree before he’s ready for the real world so he will be on the payroll for a while yet.

This year the IRS audited Jimmy for questionable write-offs. Not even done with B-school and already he’s dabbling in creative accounting and learning how cook the books. We should have suspected this when he just barely passed his Ethics class. Looks like his career as a white-collar criminal is off to a great start.

Now with her sibs away at school, Caroline believes she’s in charge, and leaves clothes strewn all through three upstairs bedrooms - we call it the “Caroline Suite.” We were so excited - after decades of the Annual Holiday Concert finally an O’Keefe kid gets a solo. So at Caroline’s big moment she delivers an inaudible and slouching rendition of “nine ladies dancing,” complete with an eye-roll. Three words…really, how hard can it be?! Serious family drama ensued:Joan threatened to yank Caroline’s butt outta choir and enroll her in Latin class. Oh well - could’ve been worse - she didn’t faint onstage. We’ve always told the kids to harbor no delusions about someday making a living with their athletic prowess or musical talent - not in our wheelhouse.

Chris Rock says, “There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments,” but Joan needs her beauty sleep too. A long sound night’s sleep is one of life’s great pleasures, and it’s Joan’s drug of choice. She’s often in bed, lights out by 8 or 9. For Joan’s birthday (age 29 and holding) she got her vacuum repaired, a new dryer, a plastic watering can, and two cat poop boxes.

I’m still self-medicating my ADHD with exercise, but trying to be more reasonable about it. Joan and I wish we had time to shop for new clothes and more take more vacays, but we keep our nose to the grindstone supporting our kids’ education and their jetsetter lifestyles. We did get away for 10 days to celebrate our anniversary on the same remote island where we spent our honeymoon 30 years ago. I’m grateful to be one of Joan’s pack - she feeds and cares for all of us creatures with such unwavering devotion, and we are lucky to be basking in her love and affection.

Each of us are passengers on spaceship Earth and get only so may trips round the sun. As we begin another lap, keep in mind that we are hurtling through space at 19 miles per second while spinning on our axis at 1,000 MPH. So, if you sometimes feel dizzy or disoriented, and struggle to keep up with this fast-paced life, at least now you have a good excuse. Have an exhilarating 2015 - it’s our moment in the sun.

With Love,

James and Joan O’Keefe

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