"Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” - Mahatma Gandhi It’s chilly outside, rain is falling and a warm fire crackles. It’s that time of year for families and friends to come together in love and friendship. Yet, it is a hard time of year for a lot of us. As others are celebrating, some are grieving. It was this time of year last year in Puerto Rico that I received a call from my mother, and we cried together as she told me she was dying. Then became a time of waiting and hoping. Wishing for a miracle that mom would do it again. Win the battle she had won her whole life of climbing mountains and making it to the top. She lost that battle January 1, 2019, but at the same time she was victorious. She didn’t allow cancer to consume her. When she had a choice for more chemo. and a 50 percent chance of living another year, she said no. She said, “I don’t want to add poison to a body weakened by cancer.” She faced cancer head on. Another acquaintance of mine lost her battle with cancer today. I watched her from afar. She always had an attitude of gratitude and when I read today that she had transitioned, I felt the victory was hers. She wasn’t consumed by cancer, she fought cancer tooth and nail. Her slogan was, “The victory is ours.” How many private battles do we all face on a daily basis? What makes the difference between a victor and a victim? The difference is an attitude of gratitude. I am grateful for another year of beautiful friends and family. I am grateful for another year of health. While I mourn the loss of my beautiful mother and other beautiful souls, I look to them as champions of a higher cause. Victorious in life and in death. Happy Thanksgiving!