"Christmas crept in...like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe."
This beautifully disturbing descriptive picture of the holidays has long been one of my favorites. I, for years, came dragging into the spirit of the season - but before I knew it I fell in love.
Giddy, ridiculous, over-the-top love with the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
But that doesn't mean it's an easy time for me. Or for many others.
This year the promise of a triumphant, joyous season has been cut deep by a devastatingly sad event. An undeniable tragedy. And one from which I am struggling to extract myself.
This isn't the first tragedy to enter my sphere this time of year. And, I suppose it's all the joy to the world and good will toward men and God bless us everyone that makes such a loss - right now - seem all the more pulverizing.
And, while this should be a triumphant return to the long-lost blog, I believe that the life of one lost, beautiful, gentle, soft-spoken, bright-eyed girl is worth recognition. And in the midst of the joy and hope I have for the coming year, I have to honor grief and mourning and that desperate missing of someone for whom you never expected to be without.
At least not yet.
My daughter/son (more on that later) lost a best friend, a love, a 'shooting star' in a moment of despair so deep I can't even fathom it's depth. And now her world is forever changed. It will never turn again in quite the same way. It WILL turn. But there is a hole in the fabric of everything that wasn't there before a sad, desperate girl carved it out.
It will take weeks, months, years - a lifetime - to move through all the passages that will follow. But I know that there is strength enough to make the journey.
Tonite we gathered our little family together - sometimes you just need to be able to see one other, look into your loved ones' eyes and make that connection that calms your heart and reigns in your worst fears.
I paraded my preliminary, and somewhat half-hearted attempts at Christmas decor for my gathered loin-fruit. And they loved it. And we were drawn together and comforted by it.
Happily, I once again laud the spirit of the season, the magic in the air, and the power of family, tradition, and glittery lights to buoy the human spirit.
Even in the worst of times.
And, I know that even though our measly display isn't perfect or all that spectacular, it's about family and love and fun and frivolity - it makes us happy. And I hope it makes her beautiful smile shine as well.