A year unlike any other.. A collision of chance, a cacophony of probabilities, decisions and choices entwined with fate. Roped and hobbled by necessity. I don't think that we are the only ones viewing the coming year with no little amount of trepidation. Raising a glass to it is a dubious pleasure at best. Once burnt twice shy they say. Perhaps they should change it to, once burnt twice shy, and three times desperate. Another saying that is spinning in my head tonight is about drinking the bitter cup. It's something my dad told me, way back when we first found out about Leo. That also fits right into another saying that we Orthodox Christians say daily in our prayers. We pray for God to deliver us and save us from necessity. When I was younger, (Single, childless..) I never got this. Bitter cup? Necessity? Whatever! As the years go by we learn about necessity, either we learn or we stagger from one catastrophe to another.. Necessity. Something that kills us to do, and kills us if we don't. Another saying: What can't be changed must be endured. I think that endurance follows right after necessity. If we are in a place of this kind of necessity, then we must pray for endurance. Hour by hour, day by day, and yes, year by year. A Russian saying: Pick yourself up by your hair. It means to gather your strength and do something physically impossible. And knowing that you have the strength to do it. I don't know what this new year has in store for us, and God knows I was wrong on all counts about the last one, and yet, and yet I know one thing. That whatever this new necessity that Justin and I find ourselves in, that we will have the strength to endure it, because in the end, that too is a necessity. Our prayers tonight on the eve of the new year, is for all of you our dear readers, that when necessity comes knocking at your door, you will not only have the strength to endure, but throughout the inevitable trials, become tempered by them to become a shining pillar of strength and wisdom, not only for yourself, but for others too.