I'm fortunate enough to have readers, friends, bloggers and fellow authors part of my extended virtual family. We communicate daily. We keep up on each others lives, the highs and the lows, wishes and aspirations, our children, our husbands...heck, even our pets. There is an essential human need to be connected to the world, to care, to share and to know.
I've read a lot of posts from people going through difficult times over the holiday. A young blogger who recently lost her husband. A teacher recently relocated to a small town and finding herself friendless. And people at my stage of life, kids grown and scattered across the globe, alone over this festive season. It's heartbreaking to hear so many people hurting. It is in those moments we should reach out, lift them up, and remind them that the Hallmark moment is just an image. Life, our lives, is the true image of the holiday. Sometimes it is glorious. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it is filled with noise and laughter. And sometimes it is filled with quiet. It is what it is...
You see the overcrowded noisy house more often than not isn't part of our holiday season any more. Those darn kids, we raised them well, and they used their wings to soar...regrettably far from us. But for me the quietness of our house is a symbol that we've done our job well. Our kids are happy, live their own lives, where they want to live. The quietness of the rooms is not a hallmark moment, but it is a perfectly fine holiday for me. My kids are happy. What's more important than that.
I guess what I'm trying to say is be thankful each day, even when it's tough because your day doesn't look like the hallmark moments we've been told represent success. Joy comes from within and the act of showing it is all it takes to share it with the world.
So the things I am grateful for today are: my wonderful husband; my independent and magnificent daughters; my gorgeous grandson; my virtual friends from Indie Land who propped me up when my Ginger Kitty died at 18 on Tuesday, and who let me be there for them often during trying times and tolerating my granny wisdom( I don't know if it helps but it's from my heart, darlings); my wonderful readers--those who love my work and those who don't--who check in on this old gal in the quieter phase of her life and share their life with me either by note or within the pages of my books.
I am grateful for all things: the happy moments, the sad moments, the successes and the failures. They are all part of what says I am here, still engaged in the business of living, and still have a purpose. I may not cook turkey any more. My table isn't set. My house looks far from a Hallmark moment. My girls are a phone call and not a rowdy day in our family home this year, but that's OK. I still have purpose. And if your holiday doesn't look how you think it should, reach out, dry a tear, say hello to someone who needs it, give a smile without reason, and tell them You are here. That's what makes a holiday a hallmark moment. Not how the table looks. Not who is there. The kindness we give to each other generously shared without want in return. That is true thankfulness.
Thank you all for making this part of my life wonderful and as ever I wish you Peace.