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“Tis the Season” once again. Perhaps it is my age, but it appears each year “the Season” arrives sooner. Once again, I have not accomplished all the things I believed necessary for the year to be a complete success. When time is taken to review the events of the year, I realize that not accomplishing all the things on my list had a lot to do with “life”. In a perfect situation, we have our list of things to do and we set out to accomplish those things; when in real life, as they say, “stuff ” happens. It is the “Stuff of Life” that does not allow for the completion of the list, because life is far more important and complicated. Perhaps a sick friend needed some company; or a grandchild who wanted to help with cooking the family dinner that extended a one-hour task to several hours. The rewards for visiting a friend and including your grandchild for kitchen duty was filled with laughter, hugs and the company of a loved one. Perhaps it was a complete day searching for that perfect photograph to give to that special someone, who will cherish it forever. These memories are priceless. Finding ways to bring laughter into my life is as varied as the number of grandchildren I have. Cheering at football, soccer and basketball games (to the extent of almost losing my voice), is expected as the cheering was for my grandchild. Needless to say, my list will be extended to 2016 and I believe I have lived 2015 to the fullest.

Sadness was ever present in 2015 due to the deaths of family members and friends. The year 2016 will not be the same without them. Emotions and memories vary with each death. There is a sadness with the death of the elderly. In retrospect, we say, “What a wonderful life they led”. The sadness differs dramatically with the death of our youth. We say, “They had so much more to do”. Their untimely death cut short hopes and dreams.

But those are our thoughts when in reality, the Lord above has the master plan. As the years pass, sometimes we are able to see a greater part of that master plan and where we fit into it. Other times, it is just a blur.

My message to you is this… reach out to all of your family and friends, bring them closer, take the time to enjoy everyday as if it is the last gift. Enjoy that gift of life!

From the entire Board of Citizens Against Homicide, we hope your Christmas was beautiful and, as we welcome 2016, wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Join us at our meeting to be held March 13, 2016.