Holidays: Hurting, Helping, and Holding Everyone Close

I am feeling guilty enjoying the many traditions we partake in here around the holidays. ‘Torn,’ maybe is a better word than ‘guilt.’

Tonight our family filled out our ‘wishes’ for our wish ornament tradition and all I could think of were the families whose wishes won’t come true this year, no matter how hard any of us try. There is just no bringing back those we’ve lost. I’ve tried. I’ve tried since I was a child and my grandmother died. If there were a way, I would have found it by now…just out of sheer love and pain.

This year's wishes have been meticulously written and rolled inside - ready for the tree!

For those who are unaware, we are friends with Victoria & Alexis Haller, Aunt and Uncle to six-year old Noah Pozner. Noah was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School that fateful Friday and I want to make sure you know how to help.

There is a page set up so you can donate directly to Noah’s four surviving siblings. There is also a nationwide effort to help all of the children when they return to school after the break by simply hanging snowflakes around their new place of learning. Making them feel welcome and safe.

I can’t describe what it even slightly feels like to know someone close to this tragedy. Just watching a friend go through this from afar pales so greatly in comparison to what the family is experiencing, that a comparison can not be made. What I can say, is it has made me even more of a believer in the power of GOOD in our community.

Sometimes when it comes to blogging and tweeting and pinning and facebooking we only seem to have two modes: bitch and rally. Right now, we need every bit of rally we can muster. This is one of our nation’s most horrific tragedies, and one of our own has been touched.

I keep trying to make some sort of logical leap in my mind, about how every holiday season we all get a bit down and we all, also, feel that love and magic when we hold each other close. This year…this year is just so much different.

My family is a bit more screwed up than usual. My heart is a bit more torn than it was before children were murdered and I had to explain to my own children things I never want to explain again. My health has this awesome overall outlook but the waiting is unlike any torture on earth…provided the doctor is right.

So much feels broken and I’m the type of person destined to FIX. Control. Fix. Control. Fix.

I’ve let go so much of the control, and am slowly beginning to take back what I can handle…but I still can’t fix. I can’t fix other people, they have to fix themselves. I can’t fix other relationships, they have to fix themselves. I have to let my children become the amazing young adults they are on their way to being, without my overbearing influence. And I certainly can not fix everything our country needs in order to stop another tragedy.

I feel like I tried to take on health care with my own health problems. The election with my gender and my convictions and my determination to see what we all started be FINISHED.

Fix. Control. Fix. Control. From the small to the HUGE it is just what I do. It is just WHO I AM. 

Or is it who I was? It’s as though everything was taken out of my hands, I was forced to take a deep breath, and then just sit and watch.

It’s maddening. And fills me with fear and pride.

I’m doing my best to put my health at the top of the list so I can better care for those around me when they need it and when it’s required. Also because I’ve finally realized the healthier I am, the more I can take back of my life. The real life. Not this half-life. The life where I can be on my husband’s arm at a party, or take care of him after surgery.

Where I can take my children to a mall or a store without a cane or a cart for help walking…the life where I don’t have to space out my pain killers and pills just to be able to drive carpool to or from school. The life where I can even volunteer inside the classroom without worry of a germ or bacteria or infection that will land me in the hospital.

The life I want more than anything else. The life that seems so much more simple after December 14th, because I am even more grateful for what I DO have.

I didn’t think that was even possible. I had become so accustomed to being thankful for surviving what I had been through these past two years that adding to the thanks and gratefulness seemed over-the-top.

But when you can feel your heart being ripped from your chest for a friend who last helped hold your hair while you threw up at a strange karaoke bar in Silicon Valley, you know there is always something more to be grateful for. 

So I’m asking you to rally. No, I’m telling you to rally.

Keep any of the blog drama to yourself. Now is not the time.

Keep any of the usual behind the scenes status updates ‘accidentally’ gone public deleted. Keep the links hidden.

Suck it up and act like adults about every single matter concerning this. Do not second guess. Do not wonder out loud on twitter.

Be respectful. Be rational. And overall, rally like that blogging community I KNOW you can be when one of us needs it most.

There will be time for all of us to fight about gun control and politics – you can COUNT on that. I’m not asking you keep things without opinion. I’m asking you to rally. And to rally hard. 

Hold those you love close this holiday season. Help in any way you can.

For our @VDog. For her family. And, most of all, for Noah.

 *In the spirit of this post, comments are off.