So here it is, New Year’s Eve, and many people I know have been telling me how happy they are to see the end of 2016. I myself cannot look forward with any sense of joyful anticipation to 2017 due to circumstances way beyond my control. Reality is bitter sometimes. And right now it is bitter. My brother died on November 19, 2016 and we face a year of court dates as the impaired driver has been charged in my brother’s death and the wheels of justice roll very slowly.

I am trying to find the positives here. I know the year ahead will also hold joys. At least I hope it will. It’s all a matter of balance, isn’t it? Life is a series of ups and downs – nothing lasts forever, except love. I am grateful, extremely grateful, for the love and support of my family and friends, without whom I do not know how I would get through all this.

Life is a gentle teacher, or so I’ve been told, but there is nothing gentle about death and particularly not violent death. It is one thing to lose a loved one to natural causes and quite another to have them snatched out of our lives so cruelly and senselessly.

Having said all this I do hope I will learn something of value through this horrific experience. I hope and pray to find forgiveness for that impaired driver. I hope to learn something that will benefit others who have to undergo such an experience – though I would not wish it on anyone. I hope I will find much to celebrate this coming year. And I hope the ups will outnumber the downs that are sure to follow. In the end only kindness matters; I hope I will extend my hands in kindness and forgive all else….I hope and pray that this year I will be a channel of peace….

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