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Holidays with COVID

With COVID still very much underway, I was wondering how your holidays have been effected this year. As for me, I’m used to being able to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s surrounded by my family- usually at least 20 people, and this year has seemed so opposite of that. Although I have been able to enjoy some of this season’s traditional good food, I am still very much missing being able to spend quality time with loved ones and sharing laughs.

What are some of the things that you’ve missed the most during this holiday season?
How has this year’s holidays looked different than usual for you?

What is Your Favorite Holiday?

We are right in the middle of the holiday season, and I would love to know what everyone’s favorite holiday is and why!

I think mine would have to be Christmas, especially more lately because I can see my son’s face light up as he sees all the lights and decorations every where. I also admire the meaning that it has on a religious level.

How about you guys?

Remembering Those no Longer with us… and Tough times during the Holidays

The holiday season may be tough for some people for a variety of reasons. For some, it may be a constant reminder of negative, perhaps traumatic events that have occurred in their past around specific dates. For others, it may be uncomfortable to be forced into situations or not-so-familiar environments with family that they only see on special occasions. For me personally, I both love and have a difficult time with the holiday season. I love the colored lights and decor, I love giving presents and seeing the joy on my family’s faces and I love the great food we eat and the wonderful memories created when we get to spend time together. Nevertheless I have lost a couple of people that have been close to me at one point or another in my life during this season, and although I find peace knowing that they are in a better place, it hurts me to know that I can’t spend time with them anymore and see them continue to grow into awesome individuals.

On December 26th, 2012, God called home my childhood best friend. She was an awesome person, a cool person to hang out with, a great singer, a compassionate soul. I will always remember sitting in the cafeteria in elementary school and laughing at her as she drank her chocolate milk out of the carton with it turned sideways. Back then I thought I was cool and whenever we would get dissed by the “cool kids”, my phrase of choice was “you freakin’ asteroid”. Although I did keep in touch with her over the years, we did grow apart and were no longer best friends like we used to be when we were in elementary school. Her death was not easier due to this though, as guilt settled in and I definitely wished I had spent more time reaching out and talking to her as we got older. R.I.P. C.M.D

On December 31st, 2015, God called home another one of my best friends. Man was this hard to swallow. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I can still recall as clear as day when I was on her Facebook profile and was a little confused as I saw so many people posting R.I.P. on her timeline. I didn’t understand why they were doing that, I had just spoken to her, and we had agreed to cancel our weekend plans of going to Walmart because she had decided on spending time with her sister instead. Everything seemed fine, although underneath it all I know not everything was. S.E.K. was the funniest, most random, best softball player, most determined and strong individual I have ever met in my entire life. I will forever be grateful of our weekly car rides to and from groups, our detox sessions at Sweet Frog afterwards that helped us unwind, our random conversations, our trips to Charming Charlie’s to purchase gifts for other people because the Lord knows neither of us would be caught dead buying something in there for ourselves. I definitely miss her more than words can explain, and every time our song comes on the radio or Pandora, I honestly feel like she is with me. R.I.P. S.E.K.

Are there any reasons why the holidays are especially tough for any of you?

A postcard for Thanksgiving

When I least expected it… ‘a postcard in the mail and then a phone call’. It’s the perfect reminder that it’s my second thanksgiving.

Sometimes we find ourselves scaring away from believing that there are people who care about us, but believe it or not, we are in their memories as much as they are in ours. You may be having a bad day but unknowingly someone may just be penning a postcard for you. There is so much to be thankful for regardless of how everything else is going.
There are so many things that I am grateful for this thanksgiving and its the very reason why I walked several blocks to Walgreens to pick up a few cards that I hope will mean, to some amazing people in my life, as much as they mean to me.
If I could list all the things that I am grateful for it would probably take up an entire book. But for now, I’ll just write the preface:

I am thankful for my mother. She is not here beside me so I can truly express how I feel about her. But I love her. There are so many things that I wish I could tell her but only time will tell. Two years away from her is beginning to feel like forever but the few moments I get to speak with her over the phone does make a difference.

I am thankful for all the good people who started this journey with me. It took me 20 years to meet them but I finally did. Gosh! Where were they back then? To the laughing, cheering, loving people who stood by my side at St. Vincent, I can’t forget how much that experience changed my world. They have inscribed in my heart, the very words, ‘there are kind people in this world.’

My cousins, brothers, sisters uncles, at Triangle Community Center. These guys built a community and they stood by it. I knew my family when I met them. I don’t know where I would have been had it not been for Triangle. There were so many decisions I had to make but they understood me and helped me to shape my goals. They have and are still showing me how to accept the things that I can’t change and to be whoever the heck I am.

(First Congregational Church) Almost 2 years ago I was only able to drive pass this church with my heart filled with happiness just seeing a rainbow flag hoisted at the front of the church. I was told it was there for many months – maybe years now – through hate and love. It’s still there… it epitomizes the resilience that characterizes true fighters. They were there with me through my last Christmas, my last thanksgiving and I know that they are still here with me.

My counselors – counseling has got to be one of the hardest jobs, especially when you have someone like me but my counselors never gave up on me. I can’t blame them for not always having the right things to say but they listened.

School – yes school, I can’t repeat this enough. You may guess correctly that I am the happiest person to go back to school. Three years out of school was enough… enough of that long, dark, frustrating period in my life. Really and truly it’s not so much about school as it is about the inspiration that I get, knowing that I can actually make something out of my life.

My people at turningpointct.org. I have been writing on this space for almost a year. And it has helped me to cope and to think. I ran out of ideas. I ran out of words. I lost motivation. But this space has kept me going. This has been one of my most effective coping skills.

And I want to thank my friend Jennifer, oh wait, she is family now. I hadn’t hadn’t heard from her in such a long time -not since she called me up- but she reminded me why I have to say thanks this holiday season. Thank you!

Of course, one of the best things we can all do this thanksgiving is call up that one person who we have been thinking about all year but never gotten in touch with. It’s a great way to say thanks. Believe me, it will melt someone’s heart.

Stay Warm and Happy Thanksgiving!!!