I never imagined myself as a Holiday Mom, but when I thought about kids/young adults not being included in the “typical” family holidays it made me really sad. When I was growing up I never felt like I fit in. I had a birth defect, right in the middle of my face. I was made fun of all the time. I had no brothers or sisters and my parents were separated, then together several times, before they divorced. By time I was 13 I found drugs and alcohol.
They took me places I never thought I would go, but they also kept me alive long enough to get sober. I had all kinds of feelings, most of them not-so-good. I am now in recovery, clean and sober for over 27 years. I am straight, so I haven’t had the same experiences, but have seen the devastation of what feeling isolated and lonely can do.
So it is with this letter. I believe that we are all part of a great big family. We are all connected.
When I was young, my mom and I would either spend the holidays alone or go join another family. I always thought they took pity on us. When I was finally living on my own, I began to have what I called an “orphan” Thanksgivings &/or Christmas’s, by inviting other friends that didn’t have any place else to go during the holidays. I didn’t want anyone to be alone, because I felt I knew the isolating feelings that come from not having what others had.
Today I have a husband and two almost grown children. Over the years we have opened our hearts and homes to others who have not had “conventional” holidays.
So during this time of the year, I invite you into our “home”. We eat way too much. We argue over little things, but we hold each other close, physically and emotionally. Our family is not perfect, but we do love one another. I want to extend this love to you. My hope is that during the holidays, whatever or however you choose to celebrate, that you know you are not alone. My belief is that we are all here for a reason and one thing we need to do is find our purpose, our passion. Sometimes we need to move through the icky and uncomfortable to get to the understanding of why we are here at this moment in time. And sometimes, it can take awhile. But there will come a day, where we will see how our experience can help others and sometimes, that is what we need to hold on to.
As I grew up with my birth defect, and the people who picked on me, I began to develop a true sense of self. As I got older, I realized that Spirit (whatever you call it), has a purpose for me. And after a while, I began to think that maybe, through my hard years and many tears, I could share my own experience with someone walking through the rough waters of life.
This holiday season, I extend my hand, my heart, and my experience to trust the process, however uncomfortable it may be at times. Some days, it is as simple as putting one foot in front of another. Other days feel more full of hope. And still others have the faith that life IS good and all is well.
Where ever you are, please know that you are loved. You are special. You are here on purpose. And most importantly, you are never alone.
I wish you a peaceful holiday season. May love and joy be with you.
Holiday Mom ~ Gina