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Shall we begin?

There is a pall that falls over the holidays for me now. I have very little family left, and none that live close to me. There is the constant weighty grief from the loss of my 10-year-old son three years ago, still so raw and fresh, and this will be my first post-divorce Christmas, one that I will not share with my other son because he will be with his father.


But this isn't a sob story. I love Christmas. My house looks like Christmas threw up in it. My son complains every year when I drag out bin after bin of Christmas crap, but he secretly enjoys it and all the festivities that come with it. Every time I look at the Christmas tree lights, every time I see a happy picture from the past, every time I see someone's eyes sparkle from the promise of the season, I am reminded that there is a depth of emotion associated with the holidays that leaves us all stunned at times. We are touched profoundly by the wonder, kindness and continuous effervescent life of the celebratory season. Hope, promise and faith keep us enthralled, propel us through to the new year. And more than ever, we need to grasp at that hope as 2020 left us battered and dazed. The coming year won't be a magical turnaround...it will be slow improvement, God willing. We must all still be patient and vigilant, but I believe better times are coming.


How will we use those better times? Will we revert to our old ways, comforted by things getting back to "normal?" What the hell is normal anyway? I've never known. I've always watched other people and wondered "is that normal? Should I be doing that? In that way?" In the end, I don't conform, never have, and never will. I don't think I know how. I won't say I march to my own drummer because I don't even know where my drummer is. Probably smoking outside in the alley.


So let's all agree that once this pandemic starts to ease (and yes, there IS pandemic, take that conspiracy shit outside, please), we will commit to being the people we've postured about since March. Don't just post crap about being kind, having your door open at all times, doing amazing things, blah, blah, blah. Fucking DO them. Being kind takes strength, and it particularly takes strength when we've all been beat up and bashed by the world. Kindness is an affront to adversity...it takes a great deal of courage to be kind when we've all experienced such life-altering events on such a large scale. But I encourage you to suck it up and make that choice. And it's always, always a choice.


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