"I've been going to the gym...because I can now. I just feel like shouting 'my baby boy is dead!' in the middle of the class."
Her words remain with me as I rub shoulders with strangers, some inconsiderate, aloof. This could be their day. This could be their "trying to move on after life as I knew it is gone forever" day.
The holidays can be especially hard on people, as you can imagine.
Thanksgiving was tough for me this year.
Finally close enough to gather with extended family in just a couple of hours, I just wanted to stay home. Not because of a death, but brokenness in my family. My parents are divorced. I'm not sure if I've shared that with you before.
It's complicated. Of course.
And now, being married myself, with kids, its affects are far-reaching.
I've judged. I've raged. I've grieved. I've feared. I've cried. I've confronted. I've consoled. I've prayed.
I still need time. Certainly.
I've found one way to get my mind off myself has always been to serve others in need.
People are rushed, stressed, and may be struggling this season and I'm making a point to share a smile. It's simple and free.
Passersby in the parking lot, down the aisles, at the stop light are getting a great, big smile from me. My Southern readers are likely puzzled, but up here in the Northeast it isn't an expected exchange. I've gotten a few "you're crazy, girl" looks in return, but most people seem to appreciate the gesture.
I've also reserved $ bills in my pocketbook to do what my friend, Lori did so thoughtfully: the gift of drive-thru coffee on the way home from a mom who's been there. (Like often)
I am sorry if this holiday season is tough for you. If you've lost someone you've loved, a job, your health, or whatever may trouble you, I hope something merry & bright makes its way to you. Something like the little girl with the silly grin in my attempt at a Christmas card photo above.
"...'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
the thrill of hope. the weary world rejoices.
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
...oh night Divine. oh night when Christ was born."