As the last week of 2018 approaches, to the surprise of those who know me, I am speechless. Not because there are no topics to write about, believe me, I have only begun to touch the tip of the “glacier” in the last three months, but simply from the context of the time of the year, I am writing in.

Since I usually like to write about the other side to a story, what if we look at the other side of this holiday period. Oh! I do not mean about those less fortunate than us, although that is worthy of the front page of the news any day of the year. I am talking about those of us who will not be spending the holiday with their families. No, I am not talking about those of us going south, when the rest of our loved ones sit down around the table for Christmas dinner. I am talking about those of us, who because of life’s trials and tribulations, have cut off the ties with certain members of their families or friends.

More than any other time of the year, this season has a way of bringing home the consequences of our actions when our mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter is not present, simply because of events that have pulled us apart this year, last year, ten years ago…

So, this week’s column is dedicated to those of you, like me, who realize that life is not a picture-perfect Hallmark card when it comes to family gatherings. When words exchanged between two people of the same blood become too painful to hear, the choice made by so many to separate themselves from the source can be difficult to face in December. Even if we know that we cannot change the other person’s views, at this time of the year, deep down, we wish we could.

On the other hand, there are many people in our community, other members of our family, friends, co-workers, senior citizens, hospital employees working during the holidays and so many others who will appreciate our company and good wishes. Therefore, let us not dwell on the things that we cannot change, but instead concentrate on ensuring that we use our abilities and talents in a most constructive and positive manner. In order to change life’s realities, one must sometimes learn to accept them and simply change our attitude. There are examples of this type of courage everywhere around us. We simply must observe and, in my case, interview and write about them.

Be kind to yourself during this holiday season and thank you for reading this column.

Catherine Hedrich

Chief Editor, Tidechange.ca