Here is one of the key passages from my book series, Welltower. It seems appropriate to the season.
Yes, this passage contains spoilers.
Two of the main characters discuss the challenges they faced:
Fvlet got to his feet, brushed off his trousers, and walked with her toward the city, heading to a reception in the Council chambers. They were not holding hands, just talking and listening to each other, being friends.
“This is so sad,” Selda said to him. “This war never should have happened. We never seem to learn from our mistakes. I’ve been trying and trying to figure out the best way to keep the rising generations from repeating the mistakes of our past but I can’t. I can’t think of anything that hasn’t been tried before. The problems keep happening, over and over and over again, no matter what we do.”
Fvlet said nothing.
“All I can think of is to raise good families. Surround the children with loving parents and brothers and sisters. Teach them correct principles and set proper examples. Love them.” She sighed. “We have to encourage that, in spite of our weaknesses. It must happen; it is our obligation for the future. Our children’s children will judge us by the contributions we make to their families today.” She shook her head. “Maybe one day we will learn to actually do it. In the mean time, we’ll just do our best.”
Fvlet glanced her way, his face sober. “Selda, you and Kaehl never did find your parents, did you?”
Selda’s throat tightened. “I will not cry,” she said, her lips tight. “There have been too many tears lately. No, we never did find them. Neither did many others. Kaehl once said that he would find Mother eventually. I guess he did, in a way. A long time ago I was sure that they were alive, but now… Maybe he saw her in the hospital just before the missile struck; Father, too, in another life. I don’t know.”
“Are you going to keep looking?”
“No. We’ve searched. The authorities assume they’re dead. If by some miracle they are alive, we’ll find each other. If not, I’ll find them in the afterlife like Kaehl did, perhaps. We’ll be there together eventually, all of us; I’m sure of that. I’m sure we’ll all be much happier there. What we’ll find there will be a result of what we’ve done here.”
They passed in front of the hospital. Several children in dark glasses and robes were playing out front. They squealed with delight when they recognized Selda. As one they ran to her, pulling her hands, urging her to join them in a game. Selda hesitated.
“Remember,” Fvlet said gently. “We have a commitment. Relanna is expecting us.”
Selda waved the children away and thought for a moment. She continued toward the Council building a few more steps and then stopped. She looked up at Fvlet.
“Tell Relanna that I have been invited to a very important conference,” she said. “It came up at the last minute. It concerns the future of our world. I will rejoin her as soon as I can.”
Fvlet gave her a puzzled look and hesitated. Selda turned and walked back toward the hospital and raised her hands. Still unsure he turned and continued on. As he approached a corner he glanced back and saw her sitting on the ground surrounded by children, teaching them the finger song: “One a finger, two a finger, three a finger four…” She looked up at him and waved. He smiled and turned the corner.