As everyone well knows, Christmas is a special time. For many, it is a season to take stock of our blessings and take time to appreciate what we have. First off, I’m glad that my family’s finances are intact. While so many have struggled with money over the past year because of job loss, my dad has maintained a construction job that has kept our family thriving. Another great blessing is that I haven’t lost anyone in my circle of friends and family to COVID and have not contracted the virus myself. So even though this year was challenging, I was spared the worst of it.
While 2020 has been rough on all of us, it has been an especially tough year for the family of my classmate Hill Lanier. Over the last year and a half, Hill has been battling an exceptionally rare disease called Central Nervous System Melanocytosis, and treating it has proven to be of the utmost difficulty. Most recently, the family has been making trips to and from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where Hill has been receiving therapy and making great improvements. Though he’s missed out being with us at school during his senior year, Hill has fought on.
However, school has been admittedly quiet without him, and his absence has taken a toll on my class and, indeed, the entire school as well. Funny yet mature, Hill was always the pinnacle of the class, and things just aren’t the same without him. We are a small group, only 29 strong, so not having Hill with us at school has been tough. We’ve constantly remembered him and prayed for him in chapels and at sporting events. Some of the seniors even participated in a prayer walk for him back in October. Our hope is that Hill will be able to walk alongside us when we graduate in May.
So regardless of how brutal this past year has been on you, your family, and your community, please take a moment (as I have) to remember that someone somewhere is likely having a more difficult time than you. We all experience pain and suffering on some level, but we all experience joy and happiness as well. This year, let us focus more on the positive things in our lives and pray for those who are less fortunate knowing that we are all human and we are all journeying through this life together. Let’s make the best of it!