I am struggling a little bit this holiday season. It started at Thanksgiving and I just can’t seem to shake it. A large part of the reason is missing my dad. I keep dreaming about him, and I wake up with my heart bursting until I realize that it was just a dream and then I get very disoriented while I remind myself that Dad isn’t here anymore. It is heartbreaking every time it happens.
This past Sunday, though, was the second Sunday of Advent, and we lit the Peace candle at church. The sermon was all about how peace has nothing really to do with your circumstances. It’s a state of mind. And I know this first-hand from experiences in my own life. Times when I should have really been anxious or worried or nervous, and yet there was this overwhelming sense of peace, despite the chaos.
It’s this feeling that I am missing right now. But always, always, it is my family who brings me back to center again.
Chris has been very sensitive and supportive of me for the past month or so while I have been struggling a bit. He has gone out of his way to make me feel loved and taken care of and valued. And in that perfect example of what a partner should be, he has brought me out of a sad time and into moments of great laughter and sunshine.
Isn’t that what marriage should be? Isn’t that what we should be doing for each other? Marriage doesn’t make the dark days go away. It doesn’t solve the problems. It doesn’t change who you are or who your partner is. But, when it’s right, what it does is fill you with love and warmth, and with the understanding that you matter.
This weekend, we continued to celebrate my birthday. Chris has made such a big deal about my birthday this year, and it has filled me with such unexpected joy. My big gift this year were hockey tickets for our whole family. Chris and I love hockey, and we had taken the kids to see a game last year. Bean loved it! And this time was no different. We were all excited!
We had a blast Saturday, but Sunday night might have been even more fun. Chris’s theater had their annual family gala event. Normally, this is a more formal fundraising event, but this year they opened it up to families and made it family-friendly. They had a great adult buffet, but they also had a gourmet kids buffet with chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, and fruit. They also had a cupcake station where you got to make your own cupcake and decorate it with whatever toppings you wanted (my kids had two!). Santa was walking around, and on top of it all, we got to see the play “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It was a really fun night, and we all had a blast.
Life is hard sometimes. Joy and peace can feel so far away. But that’s why having a good marriage is so important. When it’s done right, marriage lifts you up. It fills you with so much love that even simple things – a hockey game, sitting in your front yard with your kids, a Christmas play – make you feel special and significant. And it’s hard to feel sad when you’re too busy feeling special and significant…