Sometimes things are hard to handle. The loss of friendships, the changing of perspectives, the search to find a “new normal” in whatever trauma we face. And the holidays can be a time when these difficulties make themselves more obvious as we focus on a national time of thanks and thanksgiving. It can force a strange comparison to the expectation of being happy, yet a sadness for what within our lives isn’t going so hot.
It doesn’t have to be cancer: it can be other things. Divorce, death of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of respect–whatever we endure we do so in what seems to be solitude. And the holidays can make that worse. At least it feels that way for me. Some moments I think I’m the only one in this kind of pain, who should feel happy but who’s feeling blue: the only one with a weight on my shoulders so hard to bear it breaks me down–
and then I remember that we are all like that. We all have this in our worlds. No matter the list, no matter the family, no matter the season–our joys and our pains are universal. I take comfort in knowing this–a sad comfort but a comfort nonetheless–that while I hate sadness and despair, I hate solitude worse. So knowing that I am not alone in my confusion and angst, especially when bells are jingling and turkeys are roasting, makes those horrible feelings less crippling to bear. We are all fighting something–separately yes: but in that common fight we are all in “it” together.
Today I was reminded that even the youngest and most innocent of us have weights on our shoulders. The little people’s fears may not be as obvious or as outward as ours, but they are there just the same. And some times they come out in the most beautiful, innocent and heart-jarring ways…
like this note, that I found taped to my front door (and subsequently hung in every room in my house) in my 10-year-old daughter’s handwriting. It helped me remember two things: that while all life is uncertain, and my life especially so, other people’s worlds are in just as much upheaval. And holding to each other as the bad times wash over is one way for me to make it through to the place where I’m left still standing there, holding onto a hand for strength.
In the potential moments of despair this season I will turn to this note and find the joy in it: I’ll rejoice that I am still here in life to actually make a Christmas Wish List at all. In fact I consider it high praise from a little girl who’s biggest wish-list-want has only ever been her American Girl dolls. Now it’s her American Mom on there too–though I don’t need a mini cello, a tiny flute, or a dog name Chocolate. But a breast cancer cure would be nice…
I do hope Santa is listening.