Holidays aren’t the same for everybody. Sometimes it cracks my heart open to see happiness at the holidays. Beautiful families, smiling babies and couples making new traditions together remind me that I don’t have a smiling baby or a husband or a wife. My family is far away and makes happy memories together even when I am not there – which is most of the time. It starts a roiling thought process. I think of the warm cozy baby that is not snuggled at my breast, that I am not imparting all my hard won life lessons to, that is not staring back at me through blue eyes like my husband’s. I see the empty seat next to me on the couch at night and think…Maybe its time to start making decisions that show that love is a priority for me in life.
And then I come to my senses. My life doesn’t look like a classic Norman Rockwell painting. You don’t peak in my warm glowing windows and see kids playing board games, building forts and wrestling each other to the ground. A tender kiss under the mistletoe in my life is a winning lottery ticket not an annual tradition. But you do look through my warm glowing windows and see a room full of people doubled over laughing. You do see friends with unique and incredible life stories. In place of a cooing, chubby baby, you do see thousands of kids a year touched by the work I do every day. You do see breathtaking scenery – a park that is the picture of what can be if we choose to clean up our messes…or avoid making them from the start. A few days ago, I woke in the morning with the weight of pity in my belly like you feel when a kid has wet, soggy tears streaming down his cheeks. Poor thing. The pity was for myself. In my dream, I’d been getting ready for my wedding, my parents dutifully playing along, getting me primped and food prepared…despite knowing that there was no actual groom. Poor thing. Do I have it all? Maybe not. Sometimes I wish I had babies and a loving husband. But oh I have fun. I laugh at meetings. Regularly. I make memories with my nieces and my family despite the thousands of miles of separation. I make friends from around the globe. I create families for people far from their families (or lack family). And it is oh–so–fun. We’ve all muddled through our path of life and it doesn’t always look the way we expect. Maybe you didn’t move a thousand miles from family but your life still isn’t a Norman Rockwell painting. Whatever your life is, make it good.
Whatever you are, be a good one.
Happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa.
Peace be with you.