It seems like this Christmas is full of unexpected emergencies, illnesses, and stressors. Hubby has been to the emergency room lately, is still ill, and is awaiting surgery. Our daughter was in the hospital last week with non epileptic seizures caused by stress. We have birthdays galore and kids who have gone through trauma so they tend to not "do holidays" well. Our kids' birth family have relatives in jail, eviction looming, and people who are struggling with addiction and gang related activity. And we aren't the only ones going through a difficult time! I have one friend that spent this morning in the emergency room for her son who had a horrible case of hives, and then took her baby and herself to urgent care to get care for sinus infections. I have friends who have cancer, a few friends whose husbands are out of work, friends with family in distress, illnesses, and other friends with children who are having a very difficult time right now. One neighbor friend has a father in the hospital because of amputation of his toes, children who are sick, one with an ear infection, and a grandmother who has been in and out of the emergency room the past two days with blood clots in her lungs. None of this would be welcome, but especially when we want to have a traditional Christmas with our families.
One thing I have learned through all these trials is how much we need each other. We can't possibly do it on our own. The meal our neighbor gave us when we came home from the hospital after days of little sleep, and the evening out last night that our son's family gave to Hubby and I were so appreciated and needed. The cookies and gifts friends and neighbors have given us have shown me love. The neighbor who has the father and grandmother who are ill and in the hospital dropped off their two year old the past two days at our house. Now you may think that we were the ones giving this time, but in reality we have received much more. Ms. D has taken care of the little guy almost exclusively, and it has shown her that she is needed and to not give up on life. We all need each other so much! And even when we are on the side of giving, it brightens our days and gives meaning to our lives.
And so this Christmas I am learning how much we need each other. And even when our Christmas isn't a "traditional" one, we can still find the Spirit of Christmas every time someone is helped, encouraged, and blessed. The first Christmas didn't have a tree, lights, card, or a family meal, but it was the ultimate gift to mankind. And so with that in mind, I'm trying to see the blessings in the midst of trials and really appreciate those who are in our lives.