Fröhliche Festtage an meine deutschen Leser und Leserinnen: Best wishes for the holiday season from your writer, devoted friend, family member, acquaintance, etc. It'll be over before you know it, so enjoy while you can.

Why do the approaching holidays bring me somber reflection in lieu of good cheer? I keep returning to my long-ago husband. How severely his life was affected by early-childhood trauma: polio at six, a family falling apart. My poor darling! For a while my presence eased his mind, though only incompletely. It's almost thirteen years since he has passed, which makes me understand, I myself don't have much longer. 

While we're young life stretches like an endless ribbon; then one day realize, we're nearing the end. How quickly it's over!