Four day workweeks are often the hardest. In this case, it has felt like four Mondays in a row and they have been the Mondayest of all the Mondays.
I think it’s finally Friday (right??) and, for that I am grateful. Whatever day it is and wherever you are, I hope you make the best of it! The weekend is just a few hours away so be sure to enjoy that too.
On Saturday, I spent much of the day baking cookies at my parents’ house. Afterward, we watched Christmas movies while a kitty cat purred in my lap.
Their house is always warm and it was cold outside when I left. The shock of cold and the starry sky reminded me of a Christmas Eve long ago when we spent an evening with my grandparents. I was small and all the adults kept talking about how a certain little girl needed to go home to bed so Santa Claus could come.
The colorfully lit tree was decorated with an assortment of ornaments accumulated over time and I sat under that tree to open a gift from my grandparents. I don’t recall the gift but I do remember the little candy dish filled with old fashioned hard candy that you buy at the store. I remember the laughter among adults and the warmth of that old house.
The memories made me smile as I hummed Bing Crosby’s White Christmas on the way to the porch.
This year is much different. Most of the people who provided the laughter and warmth of that home are gone now. Many who are left are too young to remember those people and that place.
This year has been haunted by hardship and loss for so many. This will be our first Christmas without my aunt Maryann. Another family member recently received a terrible diagnosis. My great aunt Marcella died over the weekend. She was the last of her generation in my grandma’s family. A college friend lost three immediate family members just days apart during this season of cheer. We have lost longtime family friends including one who just passed on Sunday. My mother is coping with injuries from her fall at Walmart over the weekend but is probably lucky to be alive.
Things aren’t going well and it’s a far cry from the picture perfect Bing Crosby moments of my childhood. It gets harder to be joyful at Christmas as you age because you’re more aware of all the troubles of the world around you.
However, as I write this I keep glancing at something written on a post-it note that I stuck to my desk months ago. Little did I know it would come in handy today. It simply says “Gratitude turns what you have into enough.”
It isn’t always easy but I’m choosing to be grateful for the memories and grateful for the time we had with all those who have left empty seats at our table. I’m grateful for the people and all the good in my life today. And when you look at it that way, it still hurts but maybe it hurts a little less.
Nothing goes on in this house without passing under his watchful eye.
Wrapping gifts was no exception as he considers it his duty to inspect every package at least once.
He absconded with the tape and has fiddled with the packages every chance he gets. He also loves to remove ornaments from the tree so I can experience the joy of trimming the tree multiple times every day.
As Covid-19 flares across this country, I have heard experts describe what is to come as a tsunami.
Our health care professionals are exhausted.
They are frustrated.
I imagine they are struggling more than we know in some of our country’s hardest hit areas. Someday, I fear they will have the same kind of PTSD that effects soldiers.
The holidays will likely usher in a new era of horrors that we all should be worried about now.
It’s hard for many of us to stay home all the time as we need to work, to buy Christmas presents or food. The economy needs us to be out there buying and exchanging money for services – a calculated risk here and there may be worth it. But we owe it to ourselves to stay healthy and to not share our germs with others. So please wear your mask, wash those hands, and social distance like your life depends on it.
After all, it may.
The mural is in Denver and is one of many spectacular pieces of art you can view from the car in that city. The image of a healthcare angel in boxing gloves seems more appropriate now than ever.
Many ideas have been crowding my mind lately about America’s founding, patriotism and what we have become today. Since I try to stick with mostly positive topics here, my wish is that you will simply take a moment to consider the spirit and bravery of those who fought for our independence when it might have been easier to sit down and be quiet.
If you choose to drink this holiday weekend, help keep the roads safe for all by not driving. And enjoy this cool 1907 ad for Coca Cola which could be used to soothe your jumpy nerves!
One more thought. The date on the calendar may say the Fourth of July but it’s really Independence Day.