I can still see my mother's eyes, and her kindness, even when she was suffering from acute dementia, when she laid her hand on mine and said, "you should meet my son, you'd really like him." It was a touching moment, one that crept into my mind today, almost five years later. She was 92 when she passed away.
I recall my dad's stern, tough love, which in the end, I was grateful for. He'd been through a lot, and welcomed any hints that he was right when he took a chance. I belatedly gave him that reinforcement, almost too late to make a difference, but in the final weeks of his life, we erased all the bad feelings of our common time together. He was 75 when he died.
I see my siblings differently than I used to, forgetting the problems that we shared, or didn't share. I told them I regret my insouciance, and my pettiness.
I meet people at church, many of whom are recovering from an addiction, and I talk to them, trying to understand, but, in the end, just listening.
It's not just Christmas that makes this happen; it's the realization that I have at best a couple decades left. I can't predict the future, but I can try to make amends for the past, even a little.