The tumultuous year 2020 is coming to an end.

A good start. Our year began nicely with a family cruise followed by a visit from good friends. Throughout the year I have had heart-warming and meaningful interactions with many of you. Thank you for your friendship.

Then COVID arrived. Several friends and family suffered a bout with it. Some very serious with close calls, but thankfully no one died — yet. Today, I got word a close friend from high school is on a ventilator and not doing well.

The inability to gather and hug has taken a toll. The cancelled reunions and travel were sad. Thankfully, modern technology made communication possible.

Ivan, Sally, Zeta. Then came hurricanes. No major damage but the word deductible took on a deeper meaning.

Throughout the entire year we suffered through political uproar. In my experience most people engaged in diatribe, not dialog. Confirmation bias and self-righteousness were on parade by the extremes on both sides. Somehow, we muddled through.

Cancer. And now to add to our stress, both Jeny and returned I from our annual dermatology visit with a cancer diagnosis. Jeny has a squamous cancer that will be removed and a good prognosis. I have an early-stage melanoma. More serious but with a good prognosis.

The strange thing about Jeny’s cancer is it developed from a deep cut gash she suffered from a fall in March. It would not heal. She showed it to four different doctors. None of them realized it was cancer.

At the dermatologist’s office, our nurse practitioner took one look and wanted a biopsy. None of the other doctors saw cancer on a regular basis. We are delighted we started seeing a dermatologist on a regular basis.

For me the diagnosis is not a reason to be more discouraged but rather another reason to be happy for the gift of life and to not waste a day worrying in 2021.

A recent fortune cookie asked the thoughtful question: Do you see difficulty behind every opportunity or opportunity behind every difficulty?

2021 will have more difficulties. Let us properly care for ourselves and seize the opportunities to care for others.




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