Christmas Blog

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve felt like writing. Mostly I have just been trying to survive, and keep those around me surviving. I haven’t written For multiple reasons. What do I have to say that would be a contribution? What do I have to say that would be positive? What do I have to say that would inspire? I got nothing.

We have, as a couple, had one of the best years of our marriage. We leaned on each other. We have grown together this year in ways I could not have imagined. Especially after being married almost 30 years. We are more In Sync with each other than we have ever been, and we have definitely seen the best in each other in this year of uncertainty.

This year has been hard. Hard emotionally, financially and physically. A global pandemic has permeated more than just our health. It has rained down fear, isolation, depression and some of the most toxic divisions in our society that I have ever witnessed. It has also made me look at what I value. I have realized it’s not the things I have, not the businesses I have built, but the relationships.

My daughter and her wife are in healthcare. Talk about stone cold fear in your bones. In March, I literally thought everyday one of them would call to tell us the other had Covid and was in ICU. The fear that was blasted on social media, news outlets and just daily conversations with people you would reach out to made it seem like every loved one would contract it and die. At any given moment. But, here it is December 25th and all of us in my immediate family have continued to be Covid free.

Christmas was subdued and reflective. I found myself so emotional and grateful to our little Presby community. Our congregation isn’t in the majority of the young and spry. I would guess our average age (with Dave and I being on the younger end at 50) to be around 65. Our pastor mastered Zoom, our congregation young and old has mastered Zoom. We found each other every Sunday at 1030 am and seeing those faces or names in a box was magical. We had a 2020 version of a Christmas Eve Service. It brought joy, peace, gratitude and anger.

Anger. Yep, I said it. I was angry that my selfish ways were interrupted. Angry that what we would normally do was not going to happen. Then the shame at my selfishness kicked in. God and I talk on the regular, and he lets me rant and posture. But as usual, he’s got me. He sent me clarity. What is really important? Truly at the heart of what I can’t bear to lose? The health and well being of the ones I love. How blessed has my family been? How fortunate are my friends? No one in my immediate circle has been on a ventilator, or died. I am so very grateful. Brought to my knees with gratitude. We are still healthy.

I didn’t get to see my mom and dad for Christmas. I didn’t get to see my brothers or their kids. My gosh I miss them. I miss the chaos, the noise, the smells of a family Christmas. My parents are really feeling the isolation of our world. My dad, who is Mr Social-always-happy is showing cracks in his demeanor. He misses people. He misses his kids. He wants human contact and interaction. He misses conversations with random strangers. He is 81, has COPD, and cancer with a serious heart condition to round out all that magic of aging. Since there is no rhyme or reason to this virus, would he survive it if he got it? I have stayed away, my brothers have socially distanced when they see them (they live closer) and the cracks are showing. How hard is this on our older loved ones? Is staying away ultimately what is best? Could I bear it if I brought it to them unknowingly? I am around 300 kids a week, I take extreme precautions, but what if? My mom gets to listen to him rant, and be the rock. She’s a saint, and the most patient human being I know.

What I pray for constantly now? I pray for humanity. I pray for reason and common ground. I pray that others are feeling what I’m feeling and will be comforted that they aren’t alone. I pray for the educators out there because this pandemic and learning sucks. I pray for empathy. I pray for people with small businesses to make it to the other side of this. I pray for the sick and I pray for the healthy. I pray for the world.

I pretty much assume every person, in every home around the world, wants the same basic thing, health, peace and love. May your life be filled with all three in abundance. And…take your elderberry.

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