I love my friend Erica. She and the Freeden family were family friends of mine growing up in our hometown of Roeland Park, KS. Now her own clan, Darin, Emory and Adeline Penner have only expanded the circle of life and love. A few years ago, a voraciously progressive form of MS (they think), began to deteriorate Darin's body. It's been devastating, but they have shared every step and are surrounded by a generous community. My miniscule part this year was to facilitate a collaborative piece with them in their home. My only instructions were that each of their hands were traced, and their names were there. I jumped in, too. Wonderfully, Darin was able to participate. We had a blast. For Christmas, I had the piece framed (thanks, Cleo Copeland of Cleo's Frames in Joplin). They love it, as I love them. Count your blessings, people. And keep this precious family in your thoughts and prayers.