24 December 2009

The Seventh Day of Christmas: Hope

I was trying to clean up my blog instead of actually cleaning my house (It's defensible act: far more people see my blog than my house) and I came across a post that I wrote in January. It took me back a step or two, specifically these paragraphs:

I was driving home on Christmas Day, which wasn't part of the holiday plans. I was going to stay at my parents for much longer, except an extreme case of something awful kicked in, and I've yet to put my finger on what it was. 

Turns out that feeling lonely when you're laying on the couch watching "Love Actually" one more time is an entirely different kind of lonely than the type that you feel when you are surrounded by those that you love. Because that kind of lonely isn't nice like his sister. His sister just sort of settles in and makes herself at home, occasionally sending up a pang or two, but mostly is a good renter. Her brother, more of the violent sort that your parents might ask you to avoid because they are a tad put off by the tattoo on his neck. Doesn't play well with others. Punches below the belt. I tried explaining this to my Dad on Christmas Day when I was simultaneously packing and sobbing.

On New Years Day, I was driving and singing along to "Long December", specifically, "and there's reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last"....

What I want you to know is that if I could package anything up to all of you on this seventh day of Christmas, it would be Hope.

The blogging world is amazing, and what stuns me on a daily basis is how moved I am by what I read, and how connected I feel to those that put the words out there. Not one day has gone by when I haven't thought of many of you and said a little prayer, or dreamed a little dream for you.

I know this time of the year is hard. I know we've all suffered losses and hurts and pains that we think no one else can possibly imagine or know. I understand how isolating and heavy that kind of aching is. I don't deny it's real.

I understand the gasping when you catch a glimpse of yourself and wonder who that is. I have felt your frustration when you're trying to figure out how on earth you're going to make it all work. My cheeks have burned with the same shame over what your body looks like when you glance at someone that has the same number of kids and yet pulls off a bikini while you're wearing your sweats. I've felt the pangs of insecurity when you stand quietly to the side, because you're certain you have nothing of value to give to anyone.

But today, I'd like to give you Hope. Even just a little. Even if it comes in the form of a tear, or a small turning upward of a corner of your mouth, or a "whatever", followed by a small thought of, "well, maybe".

Holding on when you feel there is nothing to grasp is hard, but I'm offering to you that if you just let Hope in, even just a little, it will blossom. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, or next month, or even (sorry) next year, but just try to keep it inside of you, in a small part, where it can get some sun and fresh air and occasional rain. Then I'd ask that once it blossoms, you take part of that plant and pass it along to someone else that needs it. You'll know them when you see them.

On this seventh day: Hope. You don't have to wait for Christmas, you can open it today.

25 comments:

Becc said...

Thanks Jenn. I need it right now.

Anonymous said...

My heart aches this Christmas, I know the next one will be better. I will cherish my Hope - it will get me through this... what I imagine will be the hardest time of my life. Love you, JK

Jonas said...

Lovely post, Jenn. Thanks.

MP said...

Beautiful Post..as always..it's nice to have Hope, Faith and Love..especially during the Christmas season.

Amy Y said...

Yes, very lovely Jenn :)
Thank you!

Northern Michigan Mom said...

I've tried the blogging thing and don't seem to do real well with it (don't take the time). But I have to say I continue to come back to a few blogs to see what they have to say. I don't comment hardly ever but once in a while I'll surprise someone. I can't help but comment today to say that I envy the way you can put thoughts into words. They are always so real and they always make me think. Thanks for the HOPE and may your holiday be special.

Janet said...

What a lovely gift to offer us. I graciously accept.

Thank you.

Kimberly said...

You are quickly becoming my daily dose of peace. Thank you, thank you. Love your words.

T with Honey said...

Did the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future visit you recently? Because the optimism shining through your recent posts is blindingly different and refreshing.

Beautiful.

Christine said...

Thank you, Jenn. I'm tucking this into my heart.

flutter said...

needed this today, and in no way coincidental that my middle name is Hope.

luckyzmom said...

Incredibly moving. I certainly agree.

KC said...

Thank you. xo

bgirl said...

oh how your thoughts from that older post sound like many of the thoughts i carry in my head and heart.

i love the way you can reflect on those moments from the past and transform them into compassion and understanding for yourself and others.

Jennifer said...

Your writing is so achingly beautiful. Hope is beautiful, too. Thank you, for presenting both.

Dirty Dancing Through LIFE said...

please know that although I try to frequent your post life has a tendency of getting in the way. When I make it over here I usually do a marathon read on you but you always touch me. I don't always leave a note because I don't always have the words to either give you hope or encouragment or tell you how wonderful a friend or mom you are. But you are, and your words here speak of that. I just wanted you to know that although we don't know eachother in the "flesh" reading your post I feel like I know a piece of you and you are a blessing to me.

♥ Tina

painted maypole said...

hope is perhaps the best gift of all. Well, no, I guess that love is... but faith and hope... well, they're right up there. ;)

Family Adventure said...

I continue to be in awe of your beautiful writing.

Thank you! And I'm so happy this year was a better year for you and the Queens.

Heidi

Woman Undone said...

Though the stranger you are, that was the best gift I have ever been given. It won't spoil, it is something I didn't know I wanted & now can't live without, it won't go out of season,ANDIT'S JUST MY SIZE!!!

Thank you,
Sending you many virtual hugs!!!
msscmoore

jen said...

oh honey, i've missed you.

Beth said...

Hope is a beautiful thing and so is this post!

justabeachkat said...

The perfect gift! Thanks.

Hugs!
Kat

jennifer said...

thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!

Lawyer Mama said...

Jenn, I love this post. And hope is definitely something I need now, although for a different reason. Thank you.

PrincessSteph said...

You are too sweet. I have been out of reading my regular blogs this past month, of which you and the Queens are at the top of the list, because life slapped me down and I can barely muster the energy to speak, let alone deal with it. Thank you for letting me have "hope". Its funny that it is something that is mine to take, but it took you giving it to me, for me to realize. Thank you, a million times thank you. Here's to a wonderful, healthy and happy 2008. You deserve it. Princess.