The following is a small digression from the norm found here. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps it was needed more than I realized. Perhaps it was a truth that needed to be shared. Enjoy.
She sat behind her desk, fiddling with the ball point that should be gliding across decorative paper, staring out the window without seeing the scene beyond the pane of frosted glass. The day dragged on as it had since 8 am. Memories held her attention, drawing her back to people and places thirty years before and far away from this cold and dreary place; memories of those gone from this world though never far from daily thought.
Emotional upheaval caught at her throat as she pictured another holiday season, another room, another impending loss. Tears threatened to take permanent possession of her eyes even as swallowing became a challenge. How often did she have to relive those days and nights belonging to the past?
A moment, a day, a lifetime later, the woman turned away from the window to see where she’d left off on her annual Christmas letter to family and friends. In the center of the bright red, beribboned page she saw a portrait; an image she’d not seen smile in so very many years. The sudden appearance of that face broke her resolve to forego crying.
Her mother’s laughing, loving countenance required a release of the building tension that threatened to overtake her again this year.
Had her mother’s spirit found a way to visit long enough to reassure her of the rightness of things? Was this a message instructing her finally to let go? Or, was it merely a sign that her mother was happy where she was?
Did it matter what the exact message was so long as something positive came from it?
The woman found herself smiling at this gift that had been given to her. Whether her subconscious had doodled the portrait or some other means had put the beloved face on the page, the gift was gratefully accepted. She could go on now with the holiday that had become a burden to survive rather than a gift to appreciate and celebrate.
A slow smile began to spread across her face, her throat loosening its muscles and tear ducts turning off their leaks. The time had come to release the unshed grief. Blessings came in myriad packages, she realized.
A lovely thought, Clauds. I imagine I know who "the woman" is. I find it hard these days to look forward to the Christmas season as happily as I used to. It seems to bring back as many, or more, sad remembrances as it does happy ones, and I'm not able to cope with those as well as I once did. Rejections, personal notwithstanding, bang the drum louder during this time of year, and memories of Christmas Past when all the family gathered bring a pain that cuts deeply, knowing that will never happen again.ReplyDelete
Mikki, I have some of the same problems at this time of year as well as Memorial Day Weekend. Sad times for sure. Some years are harder than others, I think.ReplyDelete
Traditions are great for that sense of continuity that we all seem to crave, especially at the holiday season. A problem arises when those that held the traditions dear are no longer with us.
I often wonder if the pain isn't part of the process of finding the blessing within the holiday now. My special gift each year now seems to be more in how much I can remember of those holidays past rather than anything under the tree.