Pat Davids here,
I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season, but I know that for some people the holidays aren't a happy time. This year, I lost my husband, and I'm facing my first Christmas without him. I'm trying to keep a happy face on for my family. I spent way to much money on decorations and they abound in my home, but the heart of the holiday is missing, and I know I'm not alone in this.
All around the world, people have lost children, spouses, parents and dear friends. As we face holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, we are bombarded with images of happiness, families gathered together and searching out a present for that special someone in our lives. Many people, like me, will keep the television off to avoid the sappy, happy shows, but I can't go to the store or to work without being reminded that this is a joyous time of the year. Sometimes, I think I must be the only sad person on the planet. I know that's not true, but that's how it feels.
Last night, I was thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and how she must have felt at the very first Christmas. Yes, she must have been overjoyed to have given birth to the Son of God, but how much trepidation must have tempered her joy. She knew, better than anyone, that her son would not lead a normal, happy life. Yet, because she accepted the burden God laid before her, I shall see my husband again when I go to stand before the Throne. I'm going to give that woman a big hug when I see her.
If you are suffering from a loss this holiday season, you have my deepest condolences. If you know someone who is facing a less than happy season, take a few minutes out of your day to give them a call. Don't ask, "How are you doing?" Most of us lie and say we're doing okay. Say, "I was thinking of you and how hard the holidays must be this year." Then, just listen. You will help more than you know by showing them you understand and you care.