You snuck up behind that Turkey, why yes you did, all dancy and prancy with your Elf-on-the-Shelf and Christmas cheer. And now you are here, all lit and glittery. You are here.
And what to do with you. And where to spend my energy with you.
Yesterday, I volunteered at Children’s Hospital with the Bereavement Program. They organize an evening for families in their first year of loss. Families are asked to make luminaries in memory of their child.
I came early. As I laid out chocolate cupcakes with Santa faces, I talked to the Children’s Pastor, who I like quite a lot.
“Now Bob, I’m not going to cry am I?”
He stole a sugar cookie. “No, no crying.”
“Yes,…..No, no promises. Wow, those are good cookies.”
Families filtered in and were given brown paper bags to decorate. Some came alone, some came with children, some came with friends.
Some came stoically, some came with tears in their eyes.
And they decorated those bags.
The tables were covered with different types of stickers. Our job was to help them find the stickers they needed to decorate the bags.
Easy task right?
When a grieving mama is looking for a red ball sticker and she can’t find a red ball sticker, you will move hell and earth to find that red ball sticker.
And it can’t be a croquet ball, or a balloon that looks like a ball. It needs to be a ball.
And I GOT it . I couldn’t help with anything…..I couldn’t make anything better but gosh darn it! I could find a red ball.
A Grandfather came up looking for a karate sticker. And I searched frantically for a damn karate sticker.
A mama came up with tears in her eyes looking for ladybugs. “How old was she?” I asked.
“Two and a half”
I went outside, gazed at the Christmas lights and cried. It was a short cry…..no ugly cry but enough to dab a tear or too.
I found Bob and gave him a nudge in the ribs. “You said I wouldn’t cry.”
“It’s a lot of sad energy,” Bob said. “First Christmases are so hard.”
“You SAID I wouldn’t cry.”
“Here, have a cookie.”
I stayed later and spoke with some of the families.
I believe in an afterlife and I think someone, something, some energy was there to greet Samantha as she journeyed on.
And I think in this journey through grief here in this world, someone needs to greet you and tell you it will be okay….well not okay….it sucks my stinky big toe but at least, at least, I will find a karate sticker for you.
Or maybe not….I’m making this up as I go.
I do like Thanksgiving.
I find it the simpler of holidays….a holiday focused around a meal, gratitude, family…..
Hubs and I went to Virginia to visit my Mama-in-Law. The flight is long, the drive is long….time to think…the visit is relaxing and instead of Black Friday shopping, I thought about what I am grateful for.
I post a lot about gratitude and I do mean it- Our family and friends are like oxygen to me but if I said that the holidays don’t get to me a bit, I would be lying. I would love our family to be different.
but we are not
and so I search for simpler things to make me grateful:
1. Pink sunrises and sunsets:
Times when the world is illuminated in pink are the times when I know my girl is watching over me. In Colorado, there are times when the entire horizon is enveloped in pink. I look up, take a deep breath, and thank her
2. People over 80:
I spent this vacation with the most interesting people; one who was a secretary during the Nuremberg trails, another who spent time with Lindbergh (she commented that he was a crazy driver). So many stories, so much life, I ate it up with a spoon. We talked about life and ate pie. These 80+ women were the Cat’s Pajamas.
3. Cats Pajamas:
4. I am happy I can read:
14% of us in the US cannot. Think about that book that you treasure and how it changed your life.
5. My body:
HA! Because I never scrutinize it the mirror 🙂
As I get older it is less about my pouchy belly but more that I am thrilled to have legs that will take me up a mountain and down a mogul field. It is not perfect but it works and I am happy everyday for my beating heart, my breathing lungs and my gigantic you-can-feed-a village-thighs
6. My job:
I do like my job, my company and the people I work with
7. Our nieces and nephews:
My goodness, how we adore you. And what a thrill it is to see the oldest become a good man, the youngest smile and the joy you ALL bring our families. That….. and you still think I’m cool or let me think I think I’m cool. I love you.
8. My Babies:
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. You will always be the best thing I have ever, ever done
Yeah…..you’re pretty good. It’s not until you walk through hell and back that you realize who you want to walk through hell and back with
10. I am grateful to this life:
To this journey. We are here only briefly. What will we do? Will we lament how we have been robbed? or will we look for the pink in the sunset?
As I set the Thanksgiving table we talked…..do we need to carve more turkey? Do you need more rolls? Stuffing?
The response? We are good. We have plenty.