The holiday season is a time of both joy and sorrow. Tomorrow a childhood friend will be laid to rest; one of my favorite artists, Teena Marie, died unexpectedly two days ago and at least six other people have made their transitions as well.  My own father died unexpectedly on Christmas Eve in 1981 leaving a great void in our family life. Why do people leave us during the holiday season? It has been said because they want to be remembered.

While I lamented about all the transitions that occurred in the past two weeks, one of my best friends announced that she had a new granddaughter that was born on Christmas Day. She stated that this was part of the “Life Cycle or Circle of Life.” Her comments gave me reason to pause and reflect.

We recently had severe cold weather in Florida and my beautiful purple Morning Glory flowers immediately died. They were special because they were a gift from a friend with whom I no longer see and the only other place I saw them was in West Africa.  Last year during a very cold freeze, I thought that I had lost them. Their purple flowers and stems had completely disappeared. But in early March, a green leaf appeared out of nowhere; followed by tiny white buds that culminated into purple blossoms. My Morning Glories were back, as if resurrected from the grave.

When a loved one departs, miraculously a family member becomes pregnant and a new loved one appears.  This baby brings gifts that enhance our human experience. When my mother left us in 2002, I was childless and told that I couldn’t bear children. On Christmas in 2005, I felt a pang of loneliness that was palpable. I began to look at adoption websites and three years later, we brought home our glorious sons. Everything has a season.

As we bid farewell to 2010, let’s reflect on our roles as men and women. Life begins with us and within us. We each play an integral role in the circle of life; therefore, “in the time of your life — live.”

Happy New Year.