I am spending a few minutes alone.

In my car.

It’s just about the only spot I am alone these days.

It’s quiet other than the Christmas music playing.

Well, there are car doors slamming. And the kids running by with their soccer gear and hockey bags.

And some parents telling their kids to hurry up.

But other than that it’s pretty nice.

Warm. Calm. Peaceful.

This time of year can be both wonderful and disheartening.

To some the holidays represent joy and wonder. Fun and love. Excitement and enchantment.

For others the holidays bring sadness. Sorrow. Heartache.

Last year at this time I was vacillating between being sick and being REALLY sick.

The holidays became unpredictable and painful for my entire family. We all worried about the next day. The next scare. The next infection.

This year is different for our family – but not for others.

There are other families that are spending this holiday season worrying about those around them that are ill, injured or, facing the most difficult times, passing from this place to another.

Those families need to know that we don’t forget them just because our families and loved ones are well. We are the lucky ones right now – living our lives looking forward, enjoying the holiday season without the overlying fear of illness.

Don’t forget those around you dealing with hard times. And if you have moved from the hard times, don’t forget them.

Sometimes we learn the most, and love better, after the hardest and scariest times in our lives.