note to the best holiday of the year

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Dear Christmas,

I love how you bring us all together to celebrate, even if you have gotten a bit commercial.





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I feel like I’m watching them from a beach as they get pummeled over and over by waves. My feet are cozy in the sand, but their world heaves.

Every time their stance steadies, another hits, rocking them and pushing them and sweeping their hair across their faces and filling their mouths with salt. And I’m watching from a thousand miles away. Incapacitated by both the distance and knowledge of a solution.

First it was the heartache of rearing two children’s whose pasts and genetics set a rocky future. Crash. Then the cancer diagnosis. Crash. Then one joint surgery. Then another. Crash. Chronic pain and financial stress and the ongoing tension between loving unconditionally and tough love. Crash. And now one thing to process.

Her strength inspires me. I marvel at her faith.

“Even if he dies in a year, I have to take it one day at a time,” she says. “I trust God.”

But the phrase dies in a year, echoes through my mind. I feel a lump fighting to rise in my throat.

His humor soothes me.

“They gave me this drug and that drug and after they pumped me up with drugs, they said ‘Oh you’re looking good, here’s a bucket of poison,’ ” he says.

So I laugh instead of cry.

I pray and pray and beg for the seas to calm and the waves to settle into harmless swells. That’s all I can do from my comfortable seat on the beach.