It’s November 12th, 2006. Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner, and Christmas is right on its heels. It is the happiest time of year and the time of greatest suffering. Holidays are like Jedi Knights: they are intensely powerful, whether for the good or the dark side. Indifference implies callousness. Unless, of course, you come from a third-world country with no familial holidays. I love this time of year. I have never been the guy most geared toward family. I rejected family as a teenager (go figure) and refused to identify myself with “those people.” A successful holiday used to mean a bottle of liquor, a mixed cd, and a trip to the movie theater… alone. I still wonder what the holiday means to my family as we get together. Do they care if the conversation is just idle nonsense, or do they really have things they want to know and say? If so, why do they never bridge the gap between us and share their feelings? I guess I live in a very private family on some levels. We get along, and we are very kind to each other (I was the last one to participate there), yet we know very little about each other on so many levels. Despite the unknowns, holidays are still a chance to appreciate those you love, despit the fact that you may not be able to explain why you love them or what you get out of it. Even with so many unanswered questions about the mysteries of familial bonds, it’s nice to know you can always come home to people who know who you were before you got hurt and started faking it. It’s nice to be accepted. I realize that this does not speak to everyone, and many would rebuke me for generalizing everyone into a quasi-successful family role. I know that there are far too many out there who don’t have anyone to turn to. I know that there are many who would rather die than come home. I know that there are some who can’t remember if home even exists. If you fit into one of those categories, I do not apologize for my generalizations. I do appreciate your patience with me as I express different memories, for I can only communicate what is my own. I hope and pray each one of you finds a new family rising out of the ashes which are your memories. I pray that God will surround you with people who possess the god-given capacity to know you, love you, and appreciate you, so that you will live a life worth living. I pray that you will each know what it means to sit around a table with those you love and share moments of joy and satisfaction. Happy Holidays.