While the freezing rain falls on Northern New Jersey, 2009 departs. It was an eventful year in our family, for good and for bad. Three graduations: high school, college and graduate school, brought us joy. Two untimely losses, my sister-in-law and my brother brought us much sorrow. We endured the the ups and downs in our family through so much turbulence in the world around us: war in Gaza, Madoff’s devastation, job losses, retirements deferred, war in Afghanistan, Iran’s threats, and ugly hostility in a healthcare debate that should have been about compassion. The inauguration of President Obama gave us much hope — if only we could work together and patiently solve problems that took a long time to percolate. But through it all we were reminded of the value of our relationships and the importance of caring for each other. It’s been a time to reassess priorities, and to work together on repairing our world. May this New Year bring a renewal of hope and optimism — fueling a resurgence of creativity and collectivity to make this a better year for all! Happy and healthy New Year.