Christmas has been determinedly low-key, as my son is working, his love is with her parents in New Jersey, and my daughter is with her love and his family upstate. We drove her there yesterday, after a lovely week she spent with us here, it was like she never left home. It was restorative. My niece is here with the man and me, and her boyfriend just arrived to have dinner with us, which my husband is cooking, bless him. The day has been painless—we opened presents, ate bagels with cream cheese and lox for breakfast, made a few phone calls, FaceTimed our girl, then I climbed into bed and read into the late afternoon, grateful to have the concentration to read whole books again, a gift of this period of quarantine. I'm reading Hidden Valley Road, the true story of a family with ten sons and two daughters, who saw six of the boys diagnosed with schizophrenia. I sank into the story, gathering in every detail, because a young man I love, a boy my son grew up with, has recently been diagnosed and is having a very hard time. There has been some heartbreak associated with this recent relapse, undoing, I don't really know what to call it, but of course I can't get into the details for reasons of privacy.
We saw the young man yesterday when we were walking out to the car to drive our girl upstate, and he greeted us warmly, though with more distance than in the past. He looked really good, tall, as beautiful as a male model, groomed and stylish, but I couldn't see his eyes because he was wearing those mirror sunglasses, and of course, a mask. Given what he has recently been through, it was good to see him looking so flawlessly put together, but I felt so sad afterward, as if we had lost a piece of how we used to be, our family and this young man, who is struggling, with no idea how very worthy he is or how much he is loved. I guess it's still on my heart because I really didn't mean to veer there in this post.
The photo up top is one I took of my beautiful, joyful girl, when we were wrapping presents two nights ago. Though her very presence fills me with joy, I have to remember that like all of us, she has her own shadings of emotion, her dark moods, and let's all give space for that, grace for that in the coming year.
I hope you all had a good, peaceful day. Me? I'm always happy when Christmas is behind me. Okay, gotta go. My husband is calling us to dinner now. Happy holidays my dear friends. See you on the other side.