Neh. 2: 2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
While many of you find this the season of joy, sharing and caring with family, there are so many others out there that don’t see it as the season of joy. Depression hits an all time high during the holiday season and thanks to massive commercialism we’re hit with, it doesn’t help.
It seems like as soon as Halloween hits, Christmas is here in the blink of an eye and we wonder where the time went. I saw Christmas commercials BEFORE Halloween so the media coverage of joy, joy, joy begins in October thrusting what is deemed normal upon people, people who don’t feel the joy of the season; we’re left behind with a burst of depression.
I’m taking a course on Writing the Personal Essay and this has brought a joy to my life. I can now hone in on the craft of telling my personal story, hopefully with more concise precision. The class has hardly begun so don’t expect perfection right away. Why am I telling you this? Because of something I read in one of the books for the course.
Take little bits of memories and write something that comes to mind: Thanksgiving, turkey, family, food. From those four things it will lead you to more of the memory surfacing. In my case, nothing really great surfaced from the memory.
I have four brothers, a sister, a mother and father. Thanksgiving was the only day we sat around the table to have a feast of a meal. We said grace, but again, it is the only day of the year we EVER said grace. I remember wine being served. Did I remember the joy of the day; the celebration of being with my family? No, I remember the jell-o for dessert.
I’m wondering if never having family joy is going to be a catapult of some pretty ugly stories as I venture along this six-week class? I’m also wondering if this is the reason for many people to see this as a season of depression. Maybe they lost a loved one who can’t be here with them, maybe they have bad memories of their childhood and as the season gets underway, memories, not all good ones surface and take over creating a ‘Season of Depression’.
Sadness swells up inside of me right around thanksgiving. Not only for the non-memorable memories but for the more memorable memories that creep up like worms out of a hole.
One memory at the forefront is the loss of my unborn child. Eight and a half months pregnant my child was STILL born. That hung an ugly memory around my neck and has clung there for thirty-two years now.
Grief is not something you just get over and I believe there is no amount of time that can whitewash the event. Whether it is through death, or the loss of a husband or friend that is no longer a part of your life. The holiday becomes the season of grief.
I don’t allow the grief to ruin the holiday for others, instead I carry my grief like a sponge, absorb everything alone, smile and remain appearing happy on the outside but tightly woven grief is wrapped around my heart.
I can’t help it, I miss my son, I miss my mother and father back home in Maryland, I miss seeing and talking to my sister, I miss hugging my nieces and nephews who grew up without me in their lives. As warped as they are, I miss my family!
Now don’t get me wrong, I am extremely thankful that God saw to it that I was placed in a loving family so I could actually experience what a family does on any given holiday, a normal family anyway. I’ve had the love of this family for 11 years now, but only six years of actually being around them on the physical level; that was when we moved to Nebraska.
I had always wondered if I made the right decision in taking my son, Adam Omega, away from my not so normal family and placing him in Texas then moving to Nebraska. I got a somewhat confirmation last week when the mailman asked about my sons name. Low and behold, he shares the ‘unique’ name also! Adam never thought in a million years that he’d EVER meet another person with that name and there he was, delivering mail with the exact same name! I don’t believe in coincidence, so there was more to the meeting than meets the eye. I know now I made the right decision, but I can still miss my family.
I’m thankful Steven only has to work four hours on Thanksgiving (as the previous years he worked a full day AND Black Friday). This year he works 9-4 turkey day and is off Friday giving me the hope that he’ll help Adam and I get ready for Christmas.
I’m so not ready for Christmas. It’s going to be a lot different this year and it will just get more and more different in years to come. It looks like once again my writing will be the saving grace to a more memorable holiday.
So if you’re the kind of person who is surrounded by a family during the holiday, embrace them, be joyful and celebrate the love you are fortunate enough to have surrounding you. Also remember the people that have no one and nothing, remember those who are grieving, remember those who are missing their families. It’s not all about joy, joy, joy to them. We’re grateful for every little morsel of love that is bestowed upon us. Be a light of love for others.
This doesn’t have to be a season of depression, I CAN and WILL make it a memorable season of joy. With the upcoming season of Advent, I will reflect on the true meaning of the season.
Job 6:10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.