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Merry Christmas from the "Avenue"

Column by John Akal
Posted 12/21/20

I want to wish everybody that celebrates it, a very merry Christmas this year. I know that it’s been a tough and peculiar time for so many people and that this year is particularly difficult …

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avenue flashes

Merry Christmas from the "Avenue"


I want to wish everybody that celebrates it, a very merry Christmas this year. I know that it’s been a tough and peculiar time for so many people and that this year is particularly difficult for everyone. Life as we know it has been turned upside down and things are drastically different right now.

But, the one thing that keeps us going is the human spirit we all share and the knowledge that things are going to get better. It’s been a hard time for communities to bond and work together to help one another, yet somehow we have managed to do just that. Every day on the news I hear stories of people coming to the aid of others or doing something positive to make someone else’s life a little easier. It’s amazing how far a smile can go to help lift someone up and out of despair.

2020 is about to go down in history, and just how it will be remembered is still unwritten, but there have been so many negative things to dwell on that sometimes we forget to acknowledge the positive ones.

Let’s take a moment to think about some of those and how they had a great impact on just keeping us all going.

First off, we got hit with this COVID-19 pandemic early in the year and it’s the biggest on-going story of 2020. But there have been so many people that have stepped up to battle it and keep things rolling that we all need to be thankful to have. The first on the list are the people in the medical profession that put themselves in harms way to treat and care for those who got sick, as well as helping to determine who had the virus and who didn’t. Doctors, nurses, hospital workers, technicians and those conducting tests have all been going above and beyond doing what they could to keep people safe and alive. Don’t forget about the ones working with patients with other problems that have still been there for treatments even though anybody walking through the door could also have been infected with COVID.

Next on the list are our first responders. The Fire Fighters, E.M.T.s and Police who went to work, day after day to protect us all the while putting their own lives at an unusually elevated risk. These folks always work in dangerous situations, that’s part of their jobs, but this year they also faced an invisible threat that took their risk factors to new levels. They faced them bravely, without any complaints.

Speaking of first responders, here in Colorado, they also faced some of the worst forest fires in our state’s history. We need to thank them for keeping so many people safe and going into a fierce battle with forces of nature that were just huge. They won those battles too. These people number in the thousands and every one of them stepped up as modern day heroes. So are the folks behind the scenes who provided food and shelter as well as guidance to those who were effected by those massive fires.

Let’s not forget about the other people who were considered essential workers. Yes, most of them were glad that they still had a job and could go to work everyday, but they didn’t have to do that. The people working in the grocery stores, the guys picking up our trash, the folks waiting on customers face to face, processing our food, delivering our mail and packages, the list goes on and on. These are the people that kept things going and enabled us to get through this past year.

So, this year at Christmas, I plan on trying to give more thought to the people in our world that were there for all of us. The ones who did their best to make sure things were going to be ok. This past year I lost friends and family members to tragedies. They will be missed. But I also made it through 2020 with a lot of help from many wonderful people in our community. When I look at all the lights on my Christmas tree, I like to think that each one represents someone out there who helped us dig in and get through all of this.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone. I’m thinking of all of you too. I’m also looking at the brighter side of things. This year I won’t have to drive to a New Years Eve gig in Breckenridge during a blizzard like I did about 15 years ago. That’s a crazy story for another day. Stay safe out there!


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