They say Winter is a time of reflection. When I went on my recent trip to the Outer Banks, I visited the shop - Sam & Winston, Manteo, NC - and found a necklace that I had to purchase. I loved it because of the design, but the medal in the center caught my eye. It’s an actual medal of honor given to widows and orphans in 1914-1915 in Dijon, France. At the time, I thought, isn’t that wonderful? As I researched the medal, I realized that it was given to widows and orphans of the war as a medal of honor for the hardship they had endured and to show support. I have not had to live through a war, but my path has not been an easy one as a widow and single mom.
So I have given myself a medal of honor for what I have accomplished and been through. I tend to downplay it when people say, "Oh, it must be difficult,” or “You’ve been through a lot.” I think, well, everyone has stuff...challenges. This lessens my experience and it prevents me from giving myself credit. This certainly isn’t the only area of my life I play it small, but probably the biggest area.
I have had some truly dark moments in the past 10 years. At times, I didn’t know how I was going to make it. But I pieced together moments and reached out to others to help me on my journey.
I’m not sure I give my kids enough credit – thank you Sydney and Austin. My poetry goes to these dark places, but there is hope. I may be by myself in this darkness, but I’m not alone in this world. Often times when I sign books, I write, "May these poems comfort you when you need them most.” It is my same wish for you, dear reader.
The holidays are tough for those that have lost loved ones or are going through hard times because society wants us to be merry and bright. I own my mixed bag of emotions during the holidays. Some days aren’t so merry and that’s okay. I look for the moments.
Let’s chat soon.