This Holiday†Season was†amazing. †Many events tumbled around us–friends fell into despair and confusion while we stayed at home. Colorado lay under winter storm warnings, but there was no traveling for us, thus†we never got stuck in the bitter blizzard conditions; we were not stranded in the ice storms. The worst thing that happened to me was I had to switch to arctic tundra boots to be able to feed hay to the horses and still my toes got very cold.
But, sorrowful and terrifying things did happen. Simply awful. One friend suffered a head on collision and was being lifted in the ambulance when her cell phone rang. The message was from a far; her elderly mother was dying. Another family I know limped thru the holiday with a broken heartóthis was the first Christmas since the passing of their little girl. And, a sister in the creative life, a writer and artist, buried her beloved husband.
Is it okay to mention the brighter side? One Christmas letter shared a story of recovery from a stroke, while another brought an address, so I could write a long lost friend back.†Plus, my little family was home, altogether! And, we opened many gifts from under the tree, tokens that reminded me that I am not alone. I truly enjoyed the games, the books, and the movies. I ate a lot of chocolate and enjoyed the feast of ham, casseroles and homemade treats. I had a long needed conversation with my very busy hubbie, and we found a path through the tangle of this empty nesting stage of life. Additionally, I rejoiced with the good news of a friends unexpected positive surgery outcome, and sighed a deep one of relief when another friend did not have breast cancer. I attended a Winter Solstice gathering and listened to Hopes as we waited for the end of the Long, Dark Night. Stars shown overhead, and filled my heart–these things matter.
This Holiday, between my radiant sparkling moments, I cried a lotófor the pain of people around me, and because so much of Life Happening scares me. I cried for myself, selfishly praying for Strength and Courage!
The older I get, the more I realize how fleeting this time is called My Life. In the bustle of all the shopping, I have learned to rest my eyes and grateful heart on the family Christmas tree, lost in the reverie of each glittering memento, treasuring the images of tiny hands and snaggled-toothed grins of my children as they handed them to me. They are grown ups now, busy and out there, more and more, †without me. But, I am learning to let go and love them as wonderful people set upon a course, rejoicing when they come to be with us.
Daily, I seek the Source of my personal strength, and clamor back on board every time a new twist dislodges my spirit.
For the New Year, I hugged each loved one and friend, generously. I want them to know they matter, that life with them has been so rich. The losses hurt. I mourn, and learn to let grief hone my sense of eternal gratitude.††
Thank you everyone, for coming into my life and for every blessing you have shown me, every Living lesson and excruciatingly painful bit. I try to live worthy of your gifts, everyday. Really.