Its comin’ on Christmas and try as we might to be jolly and glean the same joy from the season as usual, I think this year will be a more sober affair. The heaviness of the world seemed to hang about us – Randy and me – today as we went through the motions of holiday preparations that seemed, at least to some extent, futile. I thought I’d be knitting my last-minute gifts this year with my swollen feet propped up, 8-months-pregnant – tired but happy, and hoping the baby would stay put at least until after the new year. Waking up every morning to this alternate reality always stings a bit – even now, 7 months hence.
The ongoing baby issues are manageable – nothing new. But this year we also seem to be getting depressing health news about family members almost weekly. My brother-in-law is loosing his mother (his young, kind, sweet mother) – she’s slipping away little by little each day, succumbing to the cancer she’s had to struggle against for too many years now – they hope she can hold on through Christmas. Other family members, particularly the eldest members, are being diagnosed with cancer, falling, getting injured, loosing hope, and generally having a hard time with life. It’s hard for us to keep hope ourselves, when we see in these dear people foreshadows of our likely future, laden with a good deal of pain and hardship. Finding purpose in life and the universe is very difficult when looking through these lenses. This Christmas will be okay – but its hard to feel very merry this year.