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Happy New Year!

Well, here we are. As my friend Nancy said, 2020 has been a rough couple of years.

I just reread what I wrote at the end of 2018.

"We’re coming to the end of a year that’s been so hard for so many of us, full of discord and fear for our neighbors, our leaders, and the planet, our home."

Can you believe it? I wrote that in 2018! What an innocent!

I had no idea how bad things could get. It's like the fates or the Universe or whatever forces might be said, "You think that's rough? We're just getting started."

Here's what I wrote then.

But there have been hard times before this. I have a Christmas card sent by my grandparents, probably in 1944, in the midst of World War II, when Hitler raged across Europe. The picture on the front is a church window with advent candles on one side and an American flag on the other. Through the window, we see the star of Bethlehem. Inside, the message has those familiar words from Luke; “For unto us is born this day in the city of David…” and “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory…”

It’s signed;

Robert, Louise, Dave, Jack, Dan, Janet

and Private Robert Swanson, U.S. Army.

That was my Dad, drafted in 1943, age18 years and six weeks.

I hold this card in my hand and feel the weight of all those hopes and fears, also pride, patriotism, faith and sacrifice. Those were hard, dark times.

But the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. They got through their hard times and we’ll get through ours. We’ll learn from our mistakes and try to do better. We’ll work together to seek solutions.

That was two years ago. Have we worked together to seek solutions? In November we voted in unprecedented numbers--that's a start. Working with the League of Women voters, my friend, Marla, and I went to a Girls' High School in Harlem and met a wonderful group of brand new citizens; that was not only fun, it was inspiring.

And the vaccine is coming! And the days are getting shorter!

So let's not give up hope, and let's not stop moving forward.

It has to get better, doesn't it?

January 01, 2021

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