Christmas will be over soon, and with it, a certain sigh of relief. Holidays are hard, for a lot of reasons, all different for each person. But in my typical analytical sense, I've often wondered where that comes from.
I think it's safe to say that at least for most kids growing up, the holidays are a time for relative stability, where your family is together, and you feel warm and safe. Even with divorced parents, some portion of the day or weekend typically involved us going to with my dad, so there was still a routine of some of kind.
But as you get older, the world around you changes. Sometimes it changes very quickly. For me, it was hard to be without my wife, and then my family mostly moved away (not that they really ever acknowledged the divorce anyway). So in the space of two years, things were radically different. I fell in love twice in that time too before meeting Diana, so there was that added bit of stressful change. Decades of stability were shaken, and I felt a sense of loss over it.
Not that there's a scoring game, but I think it was harder for Diana, who lost her mom to cancer this year. Her family changed radically as well, with just her dad at the top of the family, and her brother merging a new family, and the other brother across the country (not to mention some coaster dork in her life). I can't even imagine just how different things were for her, feeling like you're not even in the same family anymore.
The common theme, at least in this micro-view, is that it's very easy to associate the holiday with loss. Every Christmas is a reminder of how things used to be, and how they never will be again. That's a pretty daunting thing to experience.
When I left Diana's brother's house at the end of the night, I thought there was something symbolic about the conversations we had in that last hour. There really were hints of new beginnings, new traditions, and redefined families for all of us. These weren't replacements for the former states, but new structures that were unexpected, with plenty of room to celebrate the good times of previous years.
People come and go from our lives, sometimes by choice and sometimes by life and death. Expectations are created, and some are met while others are not. Regardless of the out come, I think even a broken spirit tries its best to find the new normal, to adapt, and carry on. Really, it's the only choice that we really have. Christmas is supposed to be about hope. It's what we often need the most.
To my fellow 'Fishies, I wish you the very best, and hope that your lives are filled with hope and joy. Merry Christmas.