Ave Atque Vale, Friendship, Loss, Love

…To Absent Friends and Loved Ones, 2022…

Every year, for almost more years than I can count whether we’re together or apart, my family has raised a glass each Christmas season to those we love but won’t see again in this world, and to those we love who are still with us, but who are not able to share our celebration, because they’re scattered all over the globe at the moment.

Every year, there are more and more folks–and even creatures–we think about and mention during this toast. This year I think of those far away. (Thank goodness for email, Ricochet, Twitter, and this site, and for “free” and inexpensive ways of staying in touch, at least by voice, even if real-time video doesn’t work very well on my crummy satellite Internet connection.)

Today I mourn the recent loss of my dearest friend Andrea, Mr. Right’s childhood friend Jim, my darling Auntie Pat,  and Xena, one of the world’s two Greatest Pyrenees. And I say a prayer for those I know and care for who are unwell or who increasingly need help, and who probably won’t see the New Year out next December.  (I hope Mark Steyn isn’t one of them, and that he makes a full recovery from his two very recent and serious heart attacks.)

Andrea, Jim, Pat, and even Xena, join the litany of those who have gone before; those I am grateful to have had in my life; those I miss the physical presence of; those I know only through the world of media and entertainment but who mean something to me in the way of memories (Queen Elizabeth, Franco Harris, Olivia Newton-John, Judith Durham, Sidney Poitier, and so many more); and those I have faith I will meet again one day, in this world or the next.

Please join me in my annual toast tonight to the “absent friends and loved ones” in my life.  I’ll say a prayer for those in yours, if you’ll please return the favor.

Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.

Raise your glass and we’ll have a cheer
For us all who are gathered here
And a happy new year to all that is living
To all that is gentle, kind, and forgiving
Raise your glass and we’ll have a cheer
My dear acquaintance, a Happy New Year

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