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Even though we didn’t have a lot of gifts, my mom always loved Christmas – cookies, decorations, lights outside, big turkey dinner – the works. She was little and round, and looked like an elf scurrying around getting everything done. Of course, she was always a procrastinator, so that necessitated a LOT of scurrying.
I think that’s why I believe everyone deserves a little magic over the holidays. Often, my favorite uncle came to visit at Christmas. The not-so-magical part was that my mom never accepted her brother as gay. Everyone knew. We just didn’t talk about it. Once or twice, he brought along his partner. Mom liked him, but they had to stay in separate rooms. I can only imagine how hard all of that must have been for him.
Now I have a gay child of my own. He can be who he is with his dad’s family. They are a league of nations, and no one sees him as different because they recognize the uniqueness of each person. But my side still doesn’t talk about such things. My son accepts this, but it makes me sad. He’s a great guy! A beautiful human being.
Having this dichotomy in my own life, I can see how some people struggle with not being embraced for who they really are. What I want you to know is that I embrace you. As you go about life for the next few weeks, keep a picture in your mind. There’s a mom who has you in her heart, as she prepares for and goes through the holidays.
Do you like chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter? What would you dunk them in? Coffee? Tea? Milk? Are you content to just try one or two, or do you need to eat six or seven like your adopted mom? Can you see me at the door, with my arms open, waiting to hug you? There might be snow, and we keep our house pretty chilly in the winter, so better wear a sweater. What color will it be? I imagine you in a blue one, because that’s my favorite color. Is it cold where you are? We always hope for snow for the holidays – but not too much. Can you smell dinner cooking? My mom always made turkey for Christmas dinner. For some reason, I make brisket. Funny, too, because I don’t really eat meat. I would be glad to know if you have any special food requests. Sit down, have something to drink. You are among folks who care. In my eyes, you are completely whole, just as you are.
I don’t know what your journey is like. I imagine there are good days and not-so-good days. You are so very brave. I wish I could be more like that. Wherever your path leads you this holiday season, remember that I am with you. As you are shopping, I will be the voice offering suggestions. As you get ready for and are mingling at parties, remember I see how beautiful you are – inside and out. Imagine that I am the person handing you bits of tape as you wrap gifts. If you are driving long distances, I will be your co-pilot. I’m a pretty good navigator, even without a GPS.
With Warm Holiday Hugs,
Photo Credit: Jeff Stroud