It’s been a tough year in more ways than most of us choose to count. What do you miss most?

I miss traveling and concerts and movies with friends, breaking bread together with friends.

But you know what I really miss? I miss kindness. People are so stressed and angry and confused. They are grieving the life they used to have and it seems they are not as unconditional in their caring as they used to be.

With the current events swirling around us and the differing opinions, it’s hard to know what to say to family and friends. Just because I might have a different opinion doesn’t mean I should be treated differently by someone I thought was a friend before all that started. But I have lost friends because of current events.

With the current events swirling around us and the differing opinions, it’s hard to know what to say to family and friends. Just because I might have a different opinion doesn’t mean I should be treated differently by someone I thought was a friend before all that started. But I have lost friends because of current events.

I find myself spending more time with my dog walking throughout the neighborhood. We talk and I tell him how I’m feeling. We walk about my fears, about how angry and sad I am about so many different things in our country. But I tell him jokes and point out the beauty around us. He listens and looks at me with those big brown eyes. I know that the friends I have lost and the family members who no longer talk to me have left a hole in my heart. These were people about whom I deeply cared. But little by little this thirty-four-pound rescue dog is taking their place. He is loving me unconditionally, as only a dog can love.

Maybe one day they will once again be a part of my life. Or not. I’m learning I can handle loss better than before because I have my dog.