Ho, Ho, Ho…Hope?

To say the last few months have been challenging would be an understatement. This whole year, in fact, has been a pile of pain, covered in sadness sauce.

If you’re feeling banged up by circumstances, know that you’re not alone. If you’re lying on the mat in the boxing ring, covered in blood, listening to the referee count to ten, I’m there with you. Getting up again feels impossible.

At times like these, I like to remember that a thousand miles away, the ocean ebbs and flows. It comes in, bringing treasures to the shell-seekers, and it goes out, taking unattended sunglasses and ball caps and errant beach toys with it. Like the tide, so will my circumstances turn. Surely things will not always be so hard. Surely the spring will come, the flowers will bloom, and the path will even out.

Surely, along the way, there will be peace again.

I guess that’s what hope is: the thing that enables us to rise, and rise, and rise again, believing that the next moment, or the next day, or the next year, might bring joy back. We wipe our eyes and look to the horizon, squinting into the haze, certain that it is on its way.

Some pain will never leave us. The ache of loss lives within our souls, throbbing throughout our lives as we move through moments that remind us of who, and what, we are missing. Sometimes it takes our breath away.

I lost both my parents this year, as well as my beloved mother-in-law, and brother-in-law. It feels like too much, and yet I’m still standing, to my astonishment. I find myself grateful for the sorrow I feel because it keeps these precious ones present with me. It reminds me of how very real they were, and are. Mourning is proof of just how much love they propagated; the degree of agony is directly proportional to how much adoration they fostered.

Christmas is here, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s all about hope. Hope for humanity. Hope for the future. Hope for the brokenhearted. So let’s lean into that. Let’s sink deep into the truth that we’re not alone, and let’s link arms in solidarity against the dark night that whispers there’s no sense in moving forward.

Screw you, darkness. Screw you, wretchedness, and dejection, and gloom. It’s Christmas, Goddammit, and you can take a hike. We’re going to embrace light, and laughter, and yes, love.

We’re going to remember love, and all that it has poured into our hearts over the years. We’re going to hold it close, and nurture it, and watch it grow. We’re going to pass it on.

And in doing so, we’re going to live. Better, stronger, happier, wiser. We’re not going to wait for hope.

We’re going to be the hope.

Merry Christmas, my friends. I love you all.