“Today’s goal: Remind yourself that you are not betraying your grief by feeling joy. You are not being graded, and you do not receive extra credit for being miserable 100% of the time. Find pockets of relief, even happiness, when and where you can. Keep moving.”
Maggie Smith via Twitter @maggiesmithpoet
I read this quote today while shopping. Some of it was Christmas shopping for others and some of it was, well, Christmas shopping for me. In a mall of screaming children, arguing adults and the occasional Salvation Army bell ringer, it occurred to me that I have to make an effort to find joy. Not only in the everyday, but in this damn season of joy. And so with a deep breath, I decided that this Christmas is going to be about making new memories. It will be our first Christmas at home in 4 years, the first Christmas in this house. Tomorrow we will get out some decorations in an effort to make it festive and as we figure out where old trimmings go in a new space, I need to focus on what I have and not what’s missing. I am so hyper aware of what Christmas will be like this year and I am grateful for Al and Sam and the chaos that always ensues. No doubt, Jayden will also be a source of joy for me. He and I have a tight bond and I know he has been sent to us, to me. While Sam grows into an incredible young woman and continues to carve out her independence, the void that we have been left with is a little less empty with J.
The photo attached is our last Christmas as a family of four. We were at the Christmas market at the Distillery District and when Santa called Andrew’s name, he looked at me and without saying a word, wondered how on earth Santa knew his name. Andrew was shy around new people and this was no exception. He wanted Santa to know that we would be in Jamaica for his aunt’s wedding and wondered if Santa would find him there. I know that he had been wondering about the reality of Santa before this, but at that moment, his eyes sparkled and he knew Santa would find him in Jamaica. Santa agreed, he flew to Jamaica every Christmas Eve and Andrew was satisfied with that.
May the magic of the holidays and the joy of season be on us all. To the grieving families who struggle during this month, I pray that you “find pockets of relief, even happiness.”