It’s That Special Time of Year Again
By Ron Page
The Holidays leave in their wake “Christmas stress”, that malady associated with such things as:
• Inadvertent omission of a friend from the Christmas Card list
• Failure to receive a Christmas card from a friend
• Being invited to too many parties
• Being invited to too few parties
• Quarrels among siblings
• Longing for past Christmases
• A loved one who couldn’t be here
• Fatigue from shopping, cooking, wrapping
These we think are traumatic until we consider a neighbor whose son or daughter is deployed abroad, or the homeless without the most basic essentials. Then, our pondering might turn to those suffering in hospitals and the true stress their families are experiencing.
Then comes the case of Trina Medley and the rest of Bob’s family. Bob’s was a life well-lived and his legacy is one in which his family can take great pride, but he died too suddenly and too soon. Such is the unanimous opinion I’m hearing at the barber shop and at other places where small groups gather. Losing a loved one is always traumatic, and at Christmastime it must be devastating. But from what I am seeing, Bob’s family, rather than being bitter or lost in their grief, are responding by celebrating Bob’s life and I’ll bet they have figured out how to soften the blow for the youngsters.
When I saw that I was scheduled to do a Rotary Reflections article due on December 30, it occurred to me to do humorous article about all the hurt feelings, loneliness, and tension associated with the otherwise wonderful Christmas Holiday, with the facetious suggestion that we move Thanksgiving to January so that we could replace the enumeration of various infractions, regrets, and feelings of guilt with the enumeration of our blessings. That was my plan. Bob’s death changed my plan by reminding me that the pain many feel at this time of year is hardly a source of humor.
Thinking about Bob and Trina makes me realize that our club has lost other wonderful people during the past year and we can be certain this Holiday season was a difficult one for their families. For all of us, maybe this is a good time to share with those families our Christmas memories of the departed Rotarians –things like manning a Salvation Army kettle together on a particularly cold and snowy day, followed by conversation over hot coffee – that would be a good one – it lets them know their loved one is remembered. The context of the memory says a lot about the person and your respect for them – think about it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Christmas has always been a bittersweet time of year. Your reflection captures it perfectly.