The Christmas Cactus, the only houseplant that thrives in our arid indoor winter clime, has begun to bloom again. You aren't here to appreciate it, you are in another world now. Christmas won't be quite the same here, excepting the cactus. The whole family has been dispersed by the four strong winds of fate, and you've gone beyond them all. It will be a quieter time, this year, with more reflection than celebration. Next year it will be better, with the little ones a year older, with the sadness of your departure tempered by time and memory, and life returning to its everyday routine. Next year.