I grew up in a household where things were not taken for granted. It took hard work, mental or physical effort to achieve certain things. Some prayer and mazel thrown in for good measure.
Good health was never taken for granted because health issues abounded. Medical emergencies, some more serious than others, are part of my memories of childhood and adulthood.
It is for that reason that whenever I kissed my mother and father, and wished them a good yom tov -- whether Pesach or Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur or Sukkot -- or even a good birthday or anniversary or Mother's Day or Father's Day, both parents, primarily my father, always said to me, "We should be able to wish each other the same...next year again, G-d willing." When we finished the second Pesach seder, or broke the Yom Kippur fast, or lit the Chanukah candles on the last night of Chanukah, it was "We should be able to do this...next year again, G-d willing."
My parents were with us for the second day of Sukkot. Upon leaving my home, my parents and I wished each other a good Yom Tov and then we each said, "We should be able to wish each other the same...next year again, G-d willing. We should be able to do this...next year again, G-d willing."
The calendar year is a cycle -- twelve months pass, one after the other. Seasons pass, one after the other. We take the months and the seasons for granted.
The Jewish calendar is also a cycle -- the months pass, holidays come and go, the seasons change. We take the months, the seasons and the Jewish holidays for granted.
Life is also a cycle -- the calendar years pass, the seasons come and go, milestones and celebrations greet us, and unfortunately, sometimes so do difficult and sad times.
And although life stares at us -- and we stare back, hopefully being able to smile as well -- we should never take it for granted.
Each and every one of us should learn to say, "...next year again, G-d willing."