It has been weird.
In many ways and on many levels, this past year has not been a favorite. (And I’m usually a fan of the even years.)
Hurt, despair, fear, more despair, more fear.
Relationship issues, sickness in the family, doubt, loneliness, confusion, brokenness.
So, as the Advent season began, I had to make a concerted effort to be cheery and grateful and filled with good tidings.
Once the tree went up with the ornaments representing more than 30 years of marriage, family and friends, and the lights got hung outside and in, and the fudge got made and wrapped all pretty, I was on my way to good news of great joy that will be for all people.
And it was good.
I made ornaments and delivered gifts and caroled with teacher friends.
I mailed presents to friends far away and gave home made gifts to friends near.
The girls were all home at one time or another.
We celebrated the B girl’s 1st birthday with a trip to the aquarium and Chili’s.
And I listened to Christmas music on Pandora as I cooked and read and tied everything up with ribbon.
It was good. It was sweet. And I was grateful.
But the darkness crept in at the edges of my heart and mind even as the lights sparkled and the candles burned and the Christmas cards came each day.
And I kept thinking, 2017 will be different. It will be better. It will be happier.
It will be.
It has to be.