It’s 6 am, and as I usually do, even when I’m ill, I’m sitting downstairs at my office armoire in front of the computer. It’s still dark out, of course, and only the glow of the Christmas lights and the small light above my desk are on, giving a glow that warms the room like candle-light. I slept well last night, thanks to some prescription cough syrup that contains codeine that effectively shut off my cough for a good 6 hours, the first 6 hours in a week, at least. 6 down, another 120 to catch up on…
On the desk tops around me are 4 large, old photo albums, the oldest dating back to the seventies. Within them lies one half of my heritage and history, from my mother’s side. When my grandmother began her slow journey to death several years ago, she entrusted all the family photo albums to me to avoid having her two daughters fight over them. The motive was not one of dedication, but one of preservation, and although I balked at being placed in this position initially, I knew that in my family, it was the only option.
Looking through these weathered old photos fills me with bittersweet emotion at Christmas . As with all families, dynamics change with time. People change, grow older, some die, some get divorced, people get married, babies are born, and life happens. The changes are here, documented for all to see, for all time. And because of all those changes that have left my family somewhat disjointed, it has become particularly important to me as I raise my own children, to initiate and preserve whatever sense of tradition there is. We’ve started our own, and yes, even those rituals have changed over the years as our situations and family has changed. This year, it is particularly moving to see my older two really ‘get’ the experience of seeing Christmas through the eyes of small children- the wonder of Christmas lights, the excitement of Santa, the eager joy for goodies that only appear once a year. I feel blessed to be able to experience all of their collective excitement while I am so young.
But, over the years as an adult, I have also learned that family is what you make it, as life is what you make it. Life, love and family are not gifts to be taken for granted, as so many people do. Sometimes you can’t get it back once it is gone, and often you only get one chance to say what you want.
That’s why I wanted to take a special moment to thank all of you for the gifts you have given me over this last year. You’ve shared your thoughts, your opinions, your knowledge and sometimes your pain, and I appreciate every single moment. There are many of you who help me behind the scenes, with tips and information that has led to some really compelling posts and revelations, and because of that, I consider this blog to be a group effort. Each of you makes this possible. I’ve always strived to be true to myself here on these pages, and true to all of you, in the sharing of knowledge and information, and ask the same from all of you. I remember reading somewhere that fact and truth are seperate, and occasionally the facts will obscur the truth. That certainly has proven to be true on many stories.
It’s an amazing world, isn’t it ? It has been said thay we live in a time where technology has exceeded our humanity,but I disagree.
It is because of technology that – although we are all separated by space , time and circumstance – all of you, and I, are able to gather here to meet beyond those once difficult barriers. And it is also because of this technology that we are joined to share our pains, losses and joys and that we have once again begun to appreciate the humanity in others. In that respect,i t is not unreal to imagine us a global family, all of you and I. We are, and will continue to be the best of what we have to offer others. And I offer you the best of my heart and mind.
I wish each and every one of you the very best Christmas , and I hope you all enjoy the holiday in the best way you can. May you find the true spirit of purpose and faith in your heart, whatever that may be for you.
In that spirit, here is my gift to all of you: I found the original video of Baz Lurmann reciting Everybody’s Free ( To wear Sunscreen), on Youtube. I can’t think of a better way to find some perspective on what is truly important at Christmas.
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas everyone! You make make it all worthwhile…