There were abundant regrets for many during and after WWII on what could have been done to prevent outcomes for family and friends. Life in “peace” times isn’t much better regarding similar issues.

I had a conversation with two sisters yesterday. They love their younger sister but deplore her husband. He has hurt their family by his actions and words since he married their sister. The holidays are difficult for many people who are alone or have suffered losses of unbearable pain.

These sisters are in a personal quandary about him: to see him, to gift him, to confront his bad form. Will he be bothered? Probably not, but they know their sister would be and that’s what matters most.

The regrets my characters had were about life and death decisions. Should each of them have made different plans or taken better care of their families? Should they have been proactive and more strongly encouraged them to leave Hungary? All but one of their 16 siblings died at the hands of Russian troops.

So much is at stake and often we are burdened by our perceived failures. People have the right to make their own life choices, and we can be powerless to change their minds.  The challenge is to let those burdens and feelings of guilt go— difficult as that might be.

May your holidays be filled with joy and love.

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