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With the end of 2012, I’d like to publicly thank my many friends, veterinary clients and family who helped me get through the most difficult year of my life. My three sons — Gavin and wife, Marianne; Kyle and wife, Nicole; and Brett really came through with their love and support.

My adored husband, Mike Veitch, was a pillar in our community and he died on Sept. 18, 2012 after a courageous battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). With his amazing attitude he succeeded in making it easier for all of us to deal with this horrific diagnosis and devastating disease.

I’d like to thank the whole staff at Three Notch and Park Veterinary Hospitals, especially Mike’s partner, Dave Langford, and wife, Diane. They co-founded these hospitals 33 years ago and we are like family. The park bench in memory of Mike is very touching and the new hospice animal-themed Christmas tree in the waiting room was a beautiful tribute dedicated to a wonderful man. Thanks to Kathy Franzen, Beth Joseph and Mary Ann Stamm and the Hospice of St. Mary’s Board of Directors for creatively decorating this tree.

I lost too many friends in 2012, including Maria Morgan, Karen Marlowe Bennett, Rose Husman, Ellen and Sally Ervin, and all had hospice to help with their end of life journey. Thank you to those of you who donated to Hospice of St. Mary’s in Mike’s name; you were so very generous and I am very appreciative. Thank you to the entire hospice staff for the work you do; you are all angels in my eyes.

There is another organization I’d like to thank, which helped me considerably with in home medical equipment for Mike.

ACTS — A Community That Shares, Inc. — of Bushwood, a community service organization made up of 14 organizations is a lending warehouse headed by Sam Brown and a group of volunteers. They supply an array of equipment such as hospital beds, walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, Hoyer Lifts and more to St. Mary’s County residents at no charge. ACTS is currently raising funds for another building to store these items so it can better serve our community. Please consider donating your tax-deductible contributions to ACTS, PO Box 54 Bushwood, Md. 20618.

And finally, I wish I could name all my closest friends who were really there for me, and there are so many but David and Shirley Butler of Solomons Island have become my extended family and I am forever grateful for you both. Dr. Mike Szkotnicki is an extremely caring physician who made numerous phone calls and several house calls and was always there when I needed him; thank you for also being our friend.

The community of St. Mary’s County is a strong one. My family and I have lived here for more than 30 years and we could not have asked for more thoughtful neighbors. Thank you.

Pam Veitch, Lexington Park