A worry, an illness or grief doesn't know the difference between December and February, but somehow December delivers a double whammy, doesn't it? Holiday cheer may fall flat or depress or annoy someone with a lot on their plate. I never felt that way, but there were days in two Decembers that I gave in to tears. I think I had to shed those tears to make room for other emotions.
In December of 1978, my husband and I mourned the first Christmas without his dear mother and my beloved dad. Our first son was born in March of that year and had been hospitalized twice. He had turned the corner and was now thriving, but you know how it is with parents, especially first time parents, we weren't done worrying.
Four years later we mourned another loss. An emergency C-section was too late to save our daughter and a ruptured uterus resulted in a hysterectomy. I am lucky to have survived to raise our sons who were 4 and 2 when this happened. That same December we were facing my mom's lung cancer diagnosis. She was too weak to leave the hospital for any Christmas festivities.
I don't think that I was ever so caught up in the material world that I was disappointed over not receiving a particular gift or having a fit if the last hot-ticket toy-of-the-year sold out just before I got to the store, but those two Decembers really shaped who I am today. I am happy. I choose to be. If a day dawns that it is difficult to find beauty, happiness and humor around me, I know it is time to turn off the news and put down the paper.
This post is more serious than what I usually write but I know this year is hard on many and I wanted to acknowledge an understanding and offer a cyber hug. The automotive crisis is looming over this part of Michigan (near Detroit) like a huge cloud attempting to block out any sliver of sun. None of us can solve this or any other man made problem single handedly, but we can all be nice to one another and offer a smile to a stranger and a hand to a friend. It won't solve the problem or remove grief or a worry, but it can show that we are all connected.
Smiles can be contagious. Wouldn't it be wonderful if smiling spread faster than cold and the flu?
Here is one to get you started