The silver lining
My message to the future is that even the darkest of clouds has a silver lining somewhere, if you look for it. In my case, the silver lining is that this year of the pestilence has brought my sister and I closer together than ever before, even though it's through e-mail and sharing pictures.
She lives in Oregon and I live in Germany, so we actually see each rarely.
This year, she had to have an operation, and I had a visit planned to be with her before, during and after; that trip from Hamburg to Eugene was one of the many shattered travel plans of 2020.
Just before the planned trip to the U.S., my wife and I traveled to Cyprus for a 3-week vacation. We are still here nine months later, because of travel restrictions, and the state of the pandemic at home.
So from my exile in Cyprus, I began to write and share pictures more frequently with my sister, and she has been doing the same. Now we have about nine months worth of correspondence, wonderful pictures of each other's life, and irreplaceable memories, and continue to add more.
From what has been a sad year in so many ways, my most lasting memory of it will be gratitude for the family bond that was made stronger.