I have been reading other posts, although I don't always leave a comment. I know I should. I love it when people comment on my posts. That aside, I am surprised to be the first to write about Christmas. This should have been easy for me, but somehow it isn't.
When I was a kid, writing my stories and little books, I loved Christmas so much that I would find a way to put it into everything I wrote. I listened to Christmas music in July. I joined the chorus in high school and delighted in the Christmas concert. And cookies? Well, this foodie writer doesn't even need to go there.
As a grownup, however, Christmas has become somehow sadder and I am trying to find a way to get past that. The past few Decembers, and now this one, have been pretty rocky: a brother diagnosed with aggressive cancer, a daughter with a mental/physical health issue that slowly drained our energies and left a sort of numb depression in its wake, and this year, the unexpected death of an "adopted daughter," the best friend to my younger child since they were both in high school. With all of that going on, it's tougher to see the brightness of the lights, tougher to hear the magic in the carols, toughest of all to find that fierce holiday joy within.
Shortly after Christmas, one year comes to an end and the next one slides neatly into place so that we all can carry on into the new year. As a kid, one year to the next never made much difference, since I felt like I was in grade school for about 50 years, and high school for another 10. Or so it seemed. I didn't realize the way I do now how quickly those years flow away and how time is always nipping at our heels, even if we don't pay attention.
I know that I am not alone in loss. I also know that there are folks out there who have it twenty times rougher than I'll ever know. But somehow they still manage to find the magic in the season. And I wonder, how do they do it? How do they rekindle that flame of hope, of laughter, of down-to-the-bone happiness in the face of everything they have suffered? I don't know yet but I sure plan on finding out.
Life is very short. This December in particular has underscored that lesson for me. And I don't want to go through the rest of my life being sad and depressed and defeated. Wow! That sounds like a New Year's resolution. I never usually made New Year's resolutions because I figured, why wait until January to make a change? On the other hand, January is coming up fast, so what the heck. I am going to do my best to find a way to seek the joy and the happiness and all the sweetness I can find in this upcoming year because, well, why not?
Lauren, honey, in your short time on this planet, you taught your best friend's mom one helluva lesson and I'll try my best to get it down pat. This one's for you.