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Holidays Are Upon Us

Come November 1st I notice my shoulders become a little tighter than usual.

That's when I know it is Holiday Season.

This is a season of joy and a season of sadness.

This is a season of excitement and of somber reality.

This is a season of family and lack of family.

I believe most adults (and, sadly, some children) understand these conflicting feelings.

At times I feel sad, somber, lacking and this year especially. Having lost my Passion (my husband, Dominic) and also my Best Friend (my mom) within six months of each other, with little warning of losing either before it all happened, I was left with a kind of black hole where the warm happy holidays should be.

My loving extended family tries their best to make me a part of their celebrations and I know I should not feel like they are taking pity on the widow lady (but I do). I wish I could help them understand that their family celebrations are with their family That is as it should be. My stepchildren live a block away from me and they always invite me over. I think they see me as an extension of their father who they also miss, especially at the holidays. I enjoy being with them and we all connect to the memory of Dominic in that way. But I also like it because I can eventually excuse myself and go home to rest. It seems that too much fun, mingled with grief, is exhausting.

I know that if I did not have my faith in a loving God, who is always there beside me, this time of year would be unbearable. I also know that it is okay to be sad during this time. Think of a dreary, cold, rainy day. All of a sudden there is a blue hole in the sky and the sun peeks through. Little spots of "happy" in your sad holiday period. If you are like me that's what you need to look for. Find people or causes to help. Meet with friends. Decorate your house (a good time to clean under the couch). And even spend some time with your family!

Also, it is okay to be sad. Think of it as your holiday gift to YOU. There are good memories to enjoy, however bittersweet. A lovely woman gave me a placard that I have hanging in my bedroom. It does not list an author:

I thought of you with love today

But that is nothing new

I thought about you yesterday

And days before that too

I think of you in silence

I often speak your name

All I have are memories

And your picture in a frame

Your memory is my keepsake

With which I'll never part

God has you in His keeping

I have you in my heart

My Holiday Mantra:

"I can make it to January 1st"


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