Christmas Card Notes
With the sometimes depressing holiday season drawing to a close, I am once again stricken by the disparity I see in the cute year end family updates I often receive from friends and family, and the reality of life. Through my own personal turmoil, I concluded that ALL of us are carrying a very heavy load, but we only share the cheerful bits in our holiday greetings.
My own Christmas was an emotional roller coaster, and was the culmination of a difficult season for me. My cute little family update for the year would include things such as:
- one of my best friends and former lover drank himself to death and passed away right before Thanksgiving at age 55.
- my 83 year old mother was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer at the end of October
- my young niece suffered a severe mental health crisis which put her in the hospital and out of work, creating a financial hardship
- I agreed to spend Christmas with my ex for the sake of our adult “children”, and had the classic family conflict and drama with him over the course of Christmas Eve and Christmas day
- My oldest brother was transferred to another federal prison in November so he could participate in a substance abuse treatment program
I still wished everyone a happy holiday season, and of course wrote the above to NO ONE.
Looking back, my year end note rarely sounded like the many I’ve received with the usual:
- Susie’s soccer team won state championship
- Timmy graduated high school as the valedictorian
- We welcomed our first grandchild with the birth of Kelly’s first child
- Dirk and I hiked to Macchu Piccu and toured South America on our second honeymoon
I don’t like sounding cynical, but I often notice this sharp contrast in year end family round ups. I guess this is the time of year when we are only interested in hearing about sunshine and roses, and gloss over reality.