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Let’s not forget that, along with a year that many call a dumpster fire, there is still the ocean. Sharks and whales and orcas. I heard that a white orca was off the coast of Alaska. Remember, the orca that carried her dead calf around for two weeks or more? That orca has a new calf. I try to imagine her grief not entirely lifted, but the joy of swimming in the pod with her new baby very much in need of her, and very much alive.

Let’s not forget that chocolate is still delicious or vanilla if you prefer that. Last night we froze pumpkin pie to take out slice by slice whenever we need the comfort of the taste of Fall.

Let’s not forget that we have people who care about our well-being and if we are okay. I’m not doing okay each moment, but I still see each morning I open my eyes as a miracle, a wonder, a gift. How did I make it to fifty-five? That young girl who once smoked a pack of cigarettes a day skipped school, got called into the principal’s office. Teachers were so frustrated they lost their composure and yelled at me in class because they knew I was ditching, and I forgot a pencil or pen to a shorthand class. “Who does that?” My mother-in-law would say. I do. I did. I was.

Let’s not forget that people still say I love you and mean it. People even buy each other coffee or pay for a stranger’s meal.

Let’s not forget that most Americans are kind hearted people who would stop and help someone struggling. Maybe they would assist the elderly with their groceries or help a lost child find their parent.

Let’s not forget we are a people who smile when walking past people on the street, a practice my in-laws from France think is foreign.

Let’s not forget all of this because it adds up, and it’s not nothing.