Christmas Retreat

Daily Post Prompt: Retreat

2016 Christmas day was warm and sunny, not Christmas-like at all; it was a perfect day for a walk to the lake. The neighborhood was quiet; the dogs were inside with their families and the boats were docked for the holiday. The lake was as still as the air – unblemished by a breeze. Only an occasional seagull spotted the glasslike surface.

I trekked to the water’s edge, my shoes becoming caked in mud and slippery. I found a rock big enough to sit upon and rested my camera in my lap. The mirror image of the island created a kaleidoscope effect, and I was almost dizzy with the beautiful shapes and colors. I raised my camera even though I knew the lens would not be able to capture the depth of this incredible sight. A camera cannot register the quiet – the peace of the moment.

Christmas has been difficult since the loss of one of my children. This year is different; I felt like celebrating for the first time in a long time. For me dealing with the loss has felt like an uphill climb, and I think I might have reached the summit – I have arrived at that place of acceptance without agonizing pain and the unbearable guilt.

I experienced the guilt war every Christmas. I felt guilty towards the child I lost if I felt any joy and I felt guilt towards the children who were alive if I felt sadness for the child lost. This year I did not experience this conflict, only peace.

I  retreated to the lake for an hour to honor the one I lost, and in the quiet I found peace. And I brought the peace home to share with my family.  This gift made this Christmas special for us all.

Bittersweet

I was given a gift earlier this week. It was a 2 hour delayed school time, because of the possibility of freezing rain. I sat around all that morning reading social media and thinking that I had all this time. No rushing around and  becoming the army sergeant that I become every morning before school. Where I need  to bark orders and threaten punishment for insubordination. I look up and I think, someone must have played a trick on me, because two hours have past. I push and I growl to get these teens to school on time and end up being late anyway. I did nothing with my gift, except waste it away. Continue reading

Do you see what I see…

I have put off Christmas for as long as I can. I only have ten days to figure out what I want to give and do. I wish this holiday came easy for me, but I do not even know where to begin. Gift giving is agonizing for me. I put too much emphasis on materialistic items to express how I feel about someone. Every year I fight the urge go buy my way into people’s hearts. Continue reading