With a new year comes new hope – the hope of a better tomorrow. As 2021 comes to a close, many among us have faced trials and tribulations. We recently watched in horror at the remnants of tornadoes that ripped across our country’s heartland, tearing families, homes, and entire towns apart in a heart-rending calamity.
We grew weary of COVID-19, wishing for a post-pandemic time when all we had faced in the past two years became a distant memory.
Some lost loved ones; others faced challenges with keeping their families housed and fed. Still more lost their jobs while several floundered in a pandemic-centric market.
There were times when days seemed dark and nights darker. Hope flickered,
But in spite of these challenges, we had victories along the way – victories like vaccines and treatments that kept severe COVID at bay; coming together in times of challenge when our electricity dimmed and finding commonality in times of great strife. We relied on each other.
We brought vaccines to the bedsides of our sick and elderly. Neighbors with extra brought firewood to our doorsteps or opened their homes filled with heat to those without. We put political differences aside to comfort strangers in crisis.
Many volunteered their time to help others, no matter how busy or tired they were. They worked at non-profit food pantries to give out boxes filled with fruits and vegetables to long lines of cars. Firefighters, EMTs, and police officers helped hundreds of thousands receive their shots at our mega vaccine clinics at Texas Motor Speedway. Still, others donated hard-earned dollars to local churches and organizations to help residents in states hit hard with tornadic storms.
We reconnected with people we hadn’t seen in many months as we returned to our offices. We saw each other at grocery stores or at outdoor music or sports venues. School graduates walked across stages to receive their diplomas as families cheered in celebration.
Many of our businesses rode the roiling tide of 2020 into 2021, finishing the year with bigger bottom lines and promising prospects for the coming year.
We saw smiles again as face masks came off and we gathered with family and friends. Water cooler chats and coffee klatches resumed. School plays and choral performances drew proud parents and classrooms refilled with chatter and creativity. Birthday parties and weddings were planned. And we finally met people in person for the first time after months on Zoom.
Life resumed a semblance of normalcy amid a crisis none of us anticipated.
And while everything remains slightly amiss, we have learned new lessons to face these challenges while still going about our daily lives.
These signs of our resiliency, our steadfastness amid chaos bring a bright hope to this
2022 should be a year of remembrance for lives lost and a celebration for lives resumed.
It should be filled to the brim with possibilities, potential, and promise. A year of kindness, understanding, and, above all, thankfulness.
However, we must not forget all of the kindness and respect we have shown our neighbors this past year and try to keep that perspective as we face the challenges of another virus in the forecast.
We should always continue to trust in our Lord and Savior during each trial we may face.
May your lives be blessed beyond measure in 2022 and may all your hopes and dreams of a bright future become reality.
Happy New Year, Denton County. We have much for which to be thankful.