I don’t know where to begin. I really don’t. These days, beginnings are as mysterious as is the ultimate endings. And, apparently, remembering our beginnings and our past while living today is totally baffling to many of us. It always has been, I guess. But it doesn’t need to be.

I grew up in a rather skeptical environment. When someone would say something like, “Wow, what a beautiful day,” someone would almost always respond with, “Ah… it’s too damned hot.” There were many times when I was excited as a youth when my favorite college basketball team barely won a game. Invariably, someone would say, “They should have won by twenty!” I long for the days when good stuff was just acknowledged – even if it was only with pathetic and alternate responses.

I understand that almost all of us are living through some stuff right now that, until now, has been unimaginable. Good stuff is no longer even acknowledged. In most cases, anyway. These days, I hear, “Oh great. Just what we need. A 99-degree day.” Or, “Damn! The the game has been canceled due to COVID-19.”

Communicating with friends these days are mostly through social media, texts and phone calls. I appreciate the connections. It’s really the best we can do these days. I am one of those “vulnerable” old guys whose human contact has been limited for the past few months. But the stuff I am reading and hearing these days are worse than a Carolina basketball loss or game cancellation.

Too many of my friends, and even family members, are apparently just giving up. The posts and messages I am reading are quite understandable but disturbing nonetheless. Of course, they express their despair with the deadly virus. Almost constantly. But just as constantly are the words of distress about our government and its direction. Just tonight, a good friend of mine texted me, “America, the not so beautiful, is tanking right now.” If I can somehow solve a bit of the mystery here, I would suggest that 2020’s greatest accomplishment has been to create for friends and other folks the notion that we are and will always be doomed. Good job, 2020!

My mom was one the most kind, generous and warm hearted women I have ever known. She lived through the Great Depression and through World War II with a military husband and new born child. She had a strong faith in God and the Bible. But somehow, she became a “doomsdayer.” When I was in college, she read my horoscope everyday. Often, according to her, she would read that I should stay away from a trouble maker. She met my best friend one day. He was a bit of a trouble maker, to be sure. But a great friend. Still, she warned me to stay away from him. Today, my best friend and I are still alive and even better friends.

Mama was a worrier. About more things than my horoscope or friends. But when push came to shove, Mama rediscovered her faith, encouraged positive outcomes and quoted bible verses to back up her devotion to God, family, others and the outcomes.

Thanks to Mama, everyday I thank God for life, health and her. That simple prayer seems to resolve all of my mysterious notions of current life and death.

2020 is all about faith. In God, in you, in us all. Reject doomsday. Smile again, y’all. Laugh for a while. Expect the great things that will happen. This is our present.