Not sure if I'm having some latent end-of-year emotions or what, but I've been thinking lately.
Maybe this "Chicken Little" attitude isn't such a bad thing. Maybe people being creative with their money instead of buying little Johnny any and every thing he wants will come back as a blessing.

I have to admit there's very little that I need right now; materially. I have a decent home, reliable transportation, recreation opportunities, and a sampling of the latest technologies. I have a lovely wife and some of my family still live close.

What I don't have is answers to the future, and to parts of the past. I don't know why we were "chosen" to lose a daughter, our only child, barely out of high school. I don't know why we were blessed to witness the courts being played like a cheap toy. I don't know why life is sometimes treated as a common luxury.

What I do know is this season I, and my wife, have had the opportunity to build a friendship. For me, it was like gettiing to know a couple we have "known" for years. My wife did know them, at least the mother, but I've never met either one -- until recently.

The fun, the blessing is how well we connected. Sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas, between being thankful and giving to others, is a day that I'm reminded of how old I am. Frequently, we've honored this day with the typical noise makers, sometimes as teenage "daughters" or friends. This year we didn't. The celebration was an evening out by four people; us and a couple we're becoming acquanted with. The evening was nice because everyone got to put away their masks and just be us. We could have the iced teas, coffees or... without any inhibitions or concerns. We could talk about virtually anything we wanted to.

It was like these friends had been part of our life for years, although we were just getting to know them. The connect is our daughters were once inseparable. That changed when one moved and death claimed the other. But life does move on, and this year, only a few days after my annual day, our friends welcomed a new life into the world, and we were invited to the event as if family ourselves.

It is the kind of event that is new and exciting no matter how many times it happens, and each time it is as much of a blessing as the first. It is also a time that witnessing the first, healthy mom and son, makes all else in the world pale in comparison. It is the kind of intmacy that is reserved for parents, the family and closest of friends. And somewhere in the mix, we were witnesses to an event that has all but been denied to us. The only thing that could have made this day better is also the one Christmas gift I know I can't ask for -- my daughter.

It changes the world as we see it. It changes us because we recognize things and causes more important than the rise and fall of the market, or who has the slickest new gadget. It recognizes the value, and frailty, of life.

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