The weight of my loss seems much heavier. My children are shuffled between two houses, and the shared holiday schedule is scribbled in permanent black ink on the calendar. I refuse to rewrite the past and pretend that it was all mistletoe and holly. We were broken. And yet, that truth does little to diminish my deep longing for my family of 4. And then, I think of him. The man that could make it all better simply by taking me in his arms. Perhaps the loss of my dream could be endured if my Dad were here to hold my hand. I imagine we would read a poem together, or simply sit on the couch and watch T.V. Would you rest your head on my lap, and let me rub your scalp just as your own Mother did when you were a boy? My heart aches for you as another year ends, and I am no closer to finding peace.
I openly shared my holiday blues with my wise son last night. I should have been in the kitchen baking his favorite treats upon his arrival home from his first semester of college. Instead he was greeted with an empty cupboard, and a mom in bed reading a romance novel checked out from the local library. I apologized profusely for my lack of cheer, and he gave me such a gift. He sat on the couch, put away his phone, and listened to me. Sometimes there are no solutions, but knowing that you can speak your truth and still find love and acceptance heals the hurt.
If you are human…you are wounded. You can spend your days trying to run, or try to find something or someone to fill the holes. But in the end, the truth always finds you. In the moments when I have opened my soul to the life lessons that I am meant to learn, no matter how painful it feels, I have been transformed. For me, it has happened slowly because I often refuse to let go and allow change. How foolish it sounds to hold on to anything or anyone that brings pain into our world, but the familiar is comforting. Extreme courage is necessary to face our darkest emotions, and so covering up and pretending may seem like the easier option.
Hope greeted me in the darkness of the morning. Although my circumstances were unchanged, simply acknowledging the suffering lessened the sting. I prayed with Christine and walked with my friend Lori. The musings in my head now appear on this paper, as a smile crosses my face. There is someone that needed to read these words, so that they too could find the strength to face their own battles. I stand with you my fellow warrior…you will not be defeated. Release your grief, regret, and fear and make room for the unopened presents that you were not even aware you needed.