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Alta states

Christmas Wishes – Dealing with life’s inequities in the holiday season

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And yet. And yet...

There is still so much to be thankful for. I look at my two daughters - strong and confident and competent and cheerful (and so much a reflection of their mom) - and I can't help but smile. Sure, dealing with the grief of Wendy's passing has been just as hard for them as it's been for me. But they seem so much more resilient than their old man. In so many ways, they've already moved on with their lives. And I couldn't be prouder of them.

Or more thankful for the love that they've shown me during this Annus Horribilis. A hug from Maya, a smile from Jenna - even sharing a meal together on Sunday night - what I once considered the "little" things of daily life go a long way in soothing my tortured soul.

That said, my daughters' growing happiness is just one of the many blessings bestowed upon me. Take my friends. I don't know what I would have done without them. Whether it was Rob Boyd phoning me up from Europe to check up on my sanity, or Binty and Cheryl Massey opening their house up to me when I was at my most vulnerable, or Bob Daniels finding me an apartment for the winter, or David Patterson making sure I got out of the woods in one piece during November's monster snow cycle, the efforts made by my buddies on my behalf have rendered the last few months more than just tolerable.

This, to me, is what community is all about. And although few of them would ever take credit for it, they have brought much joy to my life.

And don't forget the mountains. I'm taking personal credit for our early snow this year. I don't care how the weather forecasters explain it. Don't care that it benefited a lot of other people at Whistler. I've convinced myself that the mountain gods wanted to make me happy last month.

And happy I certainly was. Whether it was skiing mid-winter lines in belly-deep snow or sitting at the top of Whistler Peak and watching the sun set on one horizon and the moon rise on the other - and then skiing all the way to the valley in full darkness - these last few weeks on the mountain have been nothing short of phenomenal. For minutes at a time I've been able to shut down the incessant monologue running through my head and just appreciate the moment.