The year 2012 is fast approaching. When I was a kid growing up in Elmhurst, Queens my friends and I, at P.S. 102, would often wonder and make guesses as to what the world would be like in the future. And what kind of life each of us would be living. We did this from 1960 thru 1967, my years at the elementary school on Van Horn Street. I don’t recall our thoughts, our fantasies, took us as far ahead and into the second decade of the twenty-first century. As young children we never imagined being sixty, or God forbid, seventy years old. At the time those people were ancient.

As I read the newspapers and listen to the news I’m told the world is not a pleasant place to live. We have people who are unemployed; can’t pay their bills and are losing their homes to foreclosure. I choose to believe that this is not the way it should be; the way it has to be. We’re resilient, we can overcome anything.

No one, not one of us can escape the story that has become our life. The one we live each and every day. We can’t run from it, we can’t hide. A loved one may die. A spouse may walk away. A child will disappoint you and you will disappoint them. We’ll lose a job we love. We’ll lose a job we so desperately need. And our lives go on, because that is what we do.

Our pets will die. The stray cat we’ve fed for weeks, that we thought enough to give a name, will return no more. Our hearts will be broken. We may break another’s heart. And yet out lives go on, because that is what we do.

As a child I would not have chosen the life I’m living now. I would be somewhere else; somewhere better. I would be a better person. I never married, never met the right woman. I have no children. I wish I did. I’ll live the life I have and deal with the choices I’ve made, both good and bad, because that is what we do.

So as the months pass us by, and the calendar turns, I wish you all well. I thank you for reading my articles. I hope your lives are fulfilled. I hope you’re fortunate to be living the life you would have chosen for yourself so many years ago.

Life goes on. We live and learn. We seek comfort in one another. We hope for the best and prepare for anything and everything. We keep our chin up and our faith and values strong, no matter who tries to take them away, because they can’t take them away. We move forward playing the hand we’ve been dealt; finding joy and satisfaction wherever we can, whenever we can.

So teach your children to dream big and to follow those dreams; to grab hold and never let go. Teach them the easy way is the wrong way. Teach them to love life fully and live it passionately and to take the time to laugh and to take the time to cry, and most importantly to understand why. Because that is what we do!