‘Tis the season of joy for many as the winter holidays go into full swing. I can’t say that I find this to be a particularly joyous time of year. My relationship to this season has always either been rather torrid (in the not-fun way) or tepid and that was before the illness that would eventually take my mother’s life decided to resurface on Christmas Day 2003. Over the years, I have struggled to make peace with the season and jump in wholeheartedly; in other words…fake it until you make it. However, with my youngest child’s discovery that there is no magical white man wiggling his ass down our chimney and leaving gifts, I have been freed to take this time of year as it comes with no pretense and expectations.
Ours will be a somber holiday as my eldest child is unable to join us this year. Yet another reminder of the nature of change: kids growing into adults who have their own lives and plans, and sometimes those plans don’t line up with parent’s plans. We have been blessed to spend a good deal of time with my son this year before his move to LA, so while he is missed this holiday season, he is with us in spirit.
As unholiday-like as this season is for me this year, I have much to express gratitude for this year. A year of change which brought its share of ups and downs. A year that brought a career shift and new challenges including a 210-mile round-trip commute across two states. A year where I saw a marked increase in readers of this space, readers whose kind words (sometimes unkind words too!) and generous support has buoyed my spirits and made me realize that perhaps there is a need for a space like this. So, I thank you! Thank you for being a part of my journey. As this year draws to a close and we draw near to our loved ones (or not so loved ones), I wish you and yours a warm and peaceful holiday season! That whatever your faith tradition, you can find a moment of clarity and peace in a world that grows increasingly unsettled.