Truth be told, the holidays can be a very difficult, if not brutal time for some folks and it’s good to be kind to them. When I was in my freshman year at NYU, everyone went home for the holidays, but one girl. She had come from the foster care system and she stayed behind at the dorms because she had no place to go. This stunningly beautiful, brilliant 18 year old girl took her own life over the Christmas break. In the dorms. I will NEVER forget that. Most of us cannot even imagine the type of loneliness, depression, and perhaps mental illness that would lead to such a tragedy. And so I have always had a heightened sensitivity to people who appear to be grumpy holiday grinches. Because in reality, we have no idea what got them so grinchy.
I have been a divorce and family law attorney for 26 years. Any idea what one of my busiest times of the year is? You guessed it: the holidays. That’s when people are wrangling over custody and visitation schedules.
I had originally intended to post one of my really feel good holidays blogs. But this one is for all the people who are hurting right now. Somewhere there is a mom or dad going through their first Christmas without their kids due to divorce, or military service, or illness, or loss. There are people struggling with depression, illness, addiction, and countless other maladies. There are people who have lost a loved one, who are mourning a once bustling house which has now gone silent.
And while I will pray for all of them, I will simultaneously bless my loud and messy house, with shoes and coats thrown about like a frat house. We will eat dinner with gusto, amid the papers lining our dining room/ kitchen/ press release writing/ homework table. I will appreciate my insanely busy schedule, and make sure that I am not just earning money but helping my community. I will close my eyes as I put on mismatched socks, and smile and laugh when I realize I accidentally wore my pajama top to court (true story). I will load up on books on tape as I drive my kids to crew practice in two states, lifeguarding, Christmas pageants and endless holiday events and parties.
My husband and I are planning my beloved father’s 80th birthday party, which will take place at our house on his birthday. Which happens to be the day after Christmas, and a couple of days before we leave for our family holiday in the Caribbean. I could complain about all I have to do, but I never will. I will simply say thank you, thank you, thank you Lord for this crazy quilt of a life I have been allowed to have. I hope you all are enjoying your own crazy quilt.
Merry Christmas, everyone, this is the Christmas card I sent out this year, and it’s my Christmas gift to you, thank you for reading my Blog!
And if anyone out there feels like they can’t hang on any longer, you can! Please talk to someone, and know that you are loved. Here is the link to get help: Call 800-273-8255 24 hours a day or click on the link: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/